We Need a Budget that Works for Kids and Families

Mar 18, 2013

By Stephanie Schmit

Despite continued budget negotiations for the current fiscal year (FY 2013) and the recent onset of sequestration, Congress must also move forward with budget resolutions for FY 2014. The budget resolutions show us the priorities of the House and Senate, which prove to be vastly different.

The Senate budget plan, developed by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), shows strong support for children and families. Senator Murray outlines reserve funds for future mandatory spending. Reserve funds could be used for increased spending for Pre-kindergarten, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), and Home Visiting which are all critical supports for young children and their families. While calling for much needed increased investment in early childhood programs, Senator Murray's proposal also eliminates the sequestration for discretionary programs. This would prevent the harsh effects of sequestration and increase investments in key early education and child care programs serving vulnerable families. 

Meanwhile, the House outlined its own FY 2014 budget plan , developed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). While the Ryan budget lacks specifics, it appears that it would clearly lead to massive and disproportionate cuts to countless services and programs vital to low-income individuals and families. While the House budget would reverse sequester cuts to the defense budget, domestic discretionary spending would be subject to cuts far deeper than those under sequestration-lower than at any point in the modern time.  The budget also calls for unspecified cuts to other mandatory programs. Many programs would be affected including child care subsidies and Head Start.

While the outcome of the budget negotiations is uncertain, CLASP urges the early childhood field to advocate for the best interest of children and their families and for Congress to take action to support those most vulnerable. 

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