Statement from the Children's Leadership Council on House Budget Plan
WASHINGTON, May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Children's Leadership Council, representing nearly 60 of the nation's leading advocacy organizations for children, youth and families, believes the House of Representatives took a huge step backward in voting to approve the Sequester Replacement Act (SRA). The Act, which purports to address looming mandatory cuts under the 2013 federal budget, would continue down the path of slashing funds for vital services and short-circuit opportunities at a perilous time for America's children.
We urge Senators to reject this misguided move that would only make a dire situation worse for millions of families struggling to pay bills, find jobs, and provide medical care, education and basic necessities for their children.
The SRA, part of the budget reconciliation package, blocks automatic cuts of $55 billion to defense and restores some programs, while cutting off families currently eligible for the Child Tax Credit and reducing domestic spending on vital health care, child care and nutrition services for low-income families. Among the most distressing aspects of the Act is that it completely eliminates the Social Services Block Grant, which provides $1.7 billion for smart, effective programs including services for children who are victims of abuse and neglect, foster care services affecting more than 450,000 children, and critical child care supports for working families.
SRA does nothing to increase revenues to support these important services. Once again, the House protects the wallets of the wealthy instead of the lives of poor children.
In short, the bill would increase poverty and inequality in America. We cannot continue on this course and expect the declining fortunes of America's children to change for the better.
CLC firmly believes that investing in children, youth and families strengthens America and rarely in our nation's history has this been as important as it is at this moment. As the federal budget is debated in the coming months, we will work with our members and partners to raise awareness about the effectiveness of vital services that improve our communities and the lives of children, youth and families.
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