Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced a Resolution to Fully Address Child Poverty on June 23, 2023. The Resolution, which has 19 Democratic co-sponsors calls on Congress to address child poverty, recognizing that the United States continues to have a significantly higher rate of child poverty compared to other wealthy nations because we fail to sufficiently invest in our children. It notes that poverty is linked to material hardship, resulting in children in poverty experiencing hunger and food insecurity, a lack of access to healthcare, unsafe and unstable shelter, and a lack of other basic needs. This leads to children in poverty often having worse physical and mental health, educational, and other outcomes than their wealthier peers. Additionally, the Resolution continues, too often children unjustly come in contact with the child welfare system due to a lack of household sufficient economic supports and youth who age out of the foster care system experience higher levels of poverty, criminal justice involvement, and homelessness than their peers.
The Resolution calls for a national child poverty reduction target to build the political will needed to make the investments and policy changes that will end child poverty, making permanent the expansions and improvements of the Child Tax Credit passed in the American Rescue Plan, supporting child nutrition and access to child care, pre-K and public education, and increasing the share of federal spending on children. CWLA has endorsed this resolution.