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Children's Defense Fund
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 25, 2004
1:35 PM
CONTACT: Children's Defense Fund 
John Norton (202) 662-3609
 
House of Representatives Rejects Disastrous Budget Rules that Would Have Endangered Millions of Children
 

WASHINGTON - June 25 - The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) strongly commends those Members of the U.S. House of Representatives who opposed and defeated H.R. 3973. The bill would have put in place a multi-year plan to mandate devastating cuts to services for children, while paving the way for more tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations, adding to the growing deficits that will be left to our children to pay.

"It is good news for America's children that Congress has rejected this unjust scheme, which would have caused long-term damage. The benign budget process reform label was simply sheep's clothing disguising a wolf that would have endangered our children for years to come," said Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of CDF. "This unjust bill would have forced our neediest children and families to lose critical supports in order to make room for more tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations. We are pleased that only a minority of the House of Representatives supported this unconscionable effort."

Through changes to the rules governing the budget process, H.R. 3973 would have:

Made it easier to pass more massive tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations that would add to the national debt, while making it harder to extend tax benefits for our poorest families;

Required that any improvements or expansions to critical supports for children including Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, unemployment assistance, child care, school breakfast and lunch, foster care and adoption assistance, and student loans be paid for by cutting similar programs; and

Imposed caps on domestic discretionary programs like Head Start, education funding, housing assistance, and after-school programs that would result in billions of dollars in cuts to services over the next five years.

The House also wisely defeated an egregious amendment that would have capped entitlement program costs and required funding cuts eviscerating services for children by hundreds of millions of dollars. The proposed cuts could have affected millions of children and their families who would have lost: health care, child care assistance, foster care maintenance payments and adoption assistance payments, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for disabled children, free school lunches and breakfasts, unemployment compensation, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit.

"We applaud the House of Representatives for not adopting this so-called 'budget reform' plan that would have pulled the rug out from under millions of families across America struggling to meet their children's needs on budgets that are being squeezed tighter and tighter," said Edelman.

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