Faith leaders, service providers, and advocates joined members of Congress today in holding a rally and press conference opposing the House budget plan. The speakers will talk about the impact the House budget plan will have on individuals and communities across the country, pointing to how the proposal would take away nutrition assistance, health care, and housing assistance away from those who need it.  Members of Congress have been invited and Bruce Lesley from First Focus will speak about the specific harm to kids under this budget approach – speaker list below. You are encouraged to join the rally and participate on social media during the rally.

First Focus President Bruce Lesley Remarks

Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children was proud to speak alongside leaders from the Coalition on Human Needs, Caring Across Generations, FRAC (Food Research Action Center), Americans for Tax Fairness, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and many others. During the rally, he delivered the following remarks:

First Focus Campaign for Children opposes the debt ceiling bill in the House. It is nonsensical to – in the name of the next generation – make 22% across-the-board cuts in funding for education, child health (including Medicaid), early childhood, child care, child nutrition, housing, child abuse prevention, and even kids in foster care.

Harming children does not help them. It is also a disaster for our nation’s future. People need Care Not Cuts. The fact is that we know investing in children works and that it has an incredible long-term return-on-investment.

The American people know it as well. In a May 2022 poll by Lake Research Partners, by a 90-8% margin, voters believe “investing in children helps improve their lives, development, and outcomes.” Moreover, by an 89-7% margin, voters believe “investing in children has a large return in a health society and a healthy economy.” The vast majority of Americans get it.

And yet, House leadership has chosen ethanol over children and families. And when it comes to the cuts, the House leadership is choosing to disproportionately cut funding to children and families, particularly those most in need. Congress should soundly reject it and stop targeting children and families for cuts.

Watch the full live stream of the rally below:

Take Action

The House of Representatives plans to vote on this bill on Wednesday, April 26th — if you would like your member of Congress to hear you before the vote, click here to be connected right now. Don’t worry — we’ll provide a call script and connect you directly to their office.