WASHINGTON—The Children’s Budget Coalition (CBC)—a group of more than 55 national organizations dedicated to the well-being of children—is deeply concerned about the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 18) budget released today. We believe the $54 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary programs (NDD) could devastate programs that impact children’s development and well-being, particularly in the areas of health, education, nutrition, housing and general welfare.
“Congress must prevent this misguided proposal by lifting the budget caps on non-defense discretionary (NDD) appropriations and fully investing in kids. Otherwise, the slashing of funding for children’s programs will have real consequences for real people. Our children will be hungrier, sicker, and crammed into more overcrowded classrooms because of these budget cuts. Our youngest and most vulnerable members of society deserve better.”
The Children’s Budget Coalition urges Congress to take the following actions to protect children and invest in their future:
- Lift the budget caps for non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending;
- Maintain parity between non-defense and defense discretionary spending; and
- Increase allocations in the appropriations bills for programs that benefit children.
Investing in children is urgent given two worrying trends, according to the First Focus 2016 Children’s Budget Book: 1) Children’s programs accounted for a mere 2.1 percent of all new total federal spending over the previous five years, despite overall spending increasing by 7.7 percent; and 2) The share of total federal spending on children decreased 5.1 percent between 2014 and 2016.
We cannot continue down this divestment path – our children are America’s future. Now is the time for lawmakers who talk a good game about kids to step up to the plate and act to protect them and help them thrive.