Federal Children's Watch – The US House Passes a Budget that Will Harm Children's Programs

Last week, before going on a two week recess, the US House of Representatives passed their version of next year’s budget written by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. Every Child Matters opposes this budget resolution and urges you to contact your Senators and tell them to reject the House budget — and to pass instead a budget that protects and invests in children.

The Ryan budget makes extreme cuts, slashing or eliminating services needed by working families, students, the jobless and the uninsured. With millions of families hurt by unemployment and reduced income, the Ryan budget would make things worse by slamming Medicaid and calling for massive cuts in education and food assistance. At the same time, it gives massive tax cuts to corporations and wealthy individuals. Because of these cuts, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ analysis reveals that the Ryan budget adds $6 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years, and would cut the deficit by just 2.5%.

We are particularly troubled by the following aspects of the Ryan proposal:

  • Medicaid: The proposal would convert Medicaid into block grants and result in $1.4 trillion in cuts, while doing nothing to reduce health care costs. These cuts would affect the 30 million children served by Medicaid.
  • Child Nutrition: The Ryan budget would cut the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program by $127 billion, or 20 percent, over the next ten years. Millions of low-income families would be affected, leading to increased hunger and poverty.
  • Education: The budget would cut funding for education programs in FY2012 by $17.7 billion — nearly 19 percent — and by a total of $250 billion over ten years. Discretionary Pell funds for low-income college students would be cut at least 60 percent, denying college access to millions of students. These cuts would reverse our nation’s progress on improving student achievement.
  • Other Vital Services and Programs: Across the board, the Ryan budget disproportionately cuts programs vital to children and families, including Head Start, child care, public safety, Community Development Block Grants and jobs programs.
  • Tax Cuts for Millionaires and Billionaires: The Ryan budget cuts the top individual and corporate income tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent. At the same time that the budget cuts health care and food stamps, it gives Americans earning more than $1 million an average annual tax break of $125,000.

We urge you to contact your Senators through the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to vote for a budget that holds children’s programs harmless and to reject the extreme policies of the US House. They will harm our economy now and make it more difficult for today’s children to compete tomorrow.