Kamala Harris and Bob Menéndez Team Up on Transparency of Federal Funds for Children
Children currently represent nearly a quarter of the U.S. population and one in five lives in poverty. Yet, according to estimates from First Focus, a bipartisan advocacy organization, programs that help children are getting a smaller and smaller share of the federal budget. Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) want the federal government to be more open about the funds it is dedicating to children. The duo linked with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and reintroduced the Focus on Children Act and the Children’s Budget Act, a package of bills aimed at increasing transparency about federal investment in the health and well-being of children. The legislation would require the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office to produce annual, public reports on proposed and actual federal spending on children’s programs. The lawmakers said the legislative package would strengthen congressional oversight and better protect the federal investments we make in America’s children. “Establishing greater transparency around the resources or lack thereof our government is putting into our young people is the first step to ensuring their success and prosperity. There is much work to be done to properly invest in our children,” said Harris. In Fiscal Year 2018, federal spending dedicated to children was only 8.06%, and the share of total federal spending on children’s programs decreased by 1.7% between 2014 and 2018. “If we as a nation value our children, then our federal budgets must reflect those values,” said Menéndez. “At a time when so many programs that safeguard their welfare are under assault by the Trump Administration, we need to examine how every budget put forward by this President – and all future Presidents – impacts the well-being of our youngest generation.” More here.