Congressional Leaders Pat Themselves on Back While Ignoring Low-Income Families, Children, and Immigrants

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)’s Executive Director.

After wasting months putting together a giant gift to corporations and the wealthy, Congressional Republicans have run out of time once again to fund the government. Moreover, in their rush to prioritize donors and the top one percent, Congress has neglected to address the budget in a meaningful way and instead chosen to pass another short-term continuing budget resolution (CR) that will expire on January 19. As a result, millions of children, families, immigrants, and a broad range of Americans who are not wealthy or well-connected are left hanging—in some cases with no help at all and in other cases with temporary, patchwork solutions that fall far short of responding to real-life needs.

While the CR includes additional funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through March, which allows states that are now preparing to cut off families and children from care to fill the gaps temporarily, we are disappointed that Congress still hasn’t passed a full, five-year reauthorization of CHIP, which they should done have back in September. The health insurance of millions of children is not something to gamble with, nor should it be a political bargaining chip.

CLASP is also deeply disappointed that Congress failed to pass protections for young immigrants who came to the United States as children and are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Despite what the White House and Congressional Republicans claim, there is no time to waste–every day that passes means another 100+ Dreamers lose the protections afforded to them through DACA. Dreamers are crucial to the economic stability of their families and communities and about one quarter of them are parents of American citizen children—meaning that failing to secure their futures is not only cruel but also counter-productive for America’s economic future.

CLASP condemns Congressional Republicans for neglecting the urgent needs of so many while patting themselves on the back for increasing the deficit by over $1.5 trillion with tax cuts for the wealthy. When Congress returns to Washington in 2018 it needs to stop ignoring the needs of everyday families and, instead, prioritize our young people and help hard-working families who are pursuing economic security.