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Children's Defense Fund
MARCH 26, 2004
2:56 PM
CONTACT:  Children's Defense Fund
John Norton (202) 662-3609
House Budget Slashes Investments in Children, Does Harm to Children Now and Later

WASHINGTON - March 26 - The Children's Defense Fund today responded to the budget resolution just passed by the House of Representatives by pointing out how it hurts children now and in the future.

By granting tax cuts for the wealthy - piling more red ink on top of the current deficit which is the largest in the history of the nation - while cutting programs for children and low-income Americans, this budget is a reckless attack on the most vulnerable Americans. The budget cuts funding for nearly all domestic programs by $120 billion, including nutrition, housing assistance, and juvenile justice. It also threatens to increase the number of uninsured children with a potential cut of $2.2 billion to Medicaid. It includes no additional child care funding when the need is growing, and it under funds education.

CDF called the House passed version of the budget a clear set back for children. "Discretionary spending programs, especially those that help low-income families and children will be slashed over the next five years." said Jim Jones, Vice President of Programs and Policy. "Tax cuts tilted to the wealthy are extended. Under this budget, by 2009 spending on almost all discretionary domestic programs would fall to their lowest level as a share of the economy since 1963, and our children will still inherit a huge national debt. This budget hurts children now and it hurts children in the future."

The Senate version of the budget, though severely flawed because of cuts to critical children's programs, does not cut Medicaid and puts a road-block in the way of any additional tax cuts for the wealthy. The House-Senate Conference Committee has a unique opportunity to do the right thing now by agreeing on a budget that is not only fiscally responsible, but is compassionate in the way it treats children.

"We should be investing in children, not investing in millionaires," Jones said.


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