Budget Deal Supports People with Low Incomes

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) applauds the two-year bipartisan budget deal reached by Congressional leadership and the White House. The deal raises the federal debt ceiling to avoid an unprecedented default on the government’s debt and increases overall funding levels to avert devastating cuts, which would have occurred without a budget deal, to critical programs that support families with low incomes.

The deal increases spending caps by $24.5 billion in fiscal year 2020 for “non-defense discretionary programs”—the portion of the federal budget that funds a range of programs from education to those supporting basic human needs. This marks an important step in the federal budget process and enables increased investments in child care, housing, postsecondary education, workforce development, and many other critical programs that low-income people need to thrive. The deal also includes important funding for the upcoming 2020 Census. While raising the caps for the next two years does not repair the damage done by years of underinvestment in many core programs, the recognition of the need for increased spending in these areas is an important foundation for future progress.

It is our hope that Congress will have passed this deal and the president will sign it by the end of July. Then, Congress will need to take the next step of assigning funding levels to individual programs through the appropriations process. The House has already passed several spending measures, including the Labor-HHS-Education bill that provides crucial funding for many key programs. As the Senate starts its process, we ask Senators to consider joining the House in increasing investments to support children, youth, and adults in families with low incomes. Meaningful boosts in child care, housing, postsecondary education, workforce development, and other programs will reduce poverty and improve economic stability and child wellbeing.