Last week a series of hearings were held about the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget. The House Budget Committee, The Senate Budget Committee, and House Appropriation Committee members expressed multiple concerns about COVID spending, the impact of Defense cuts, a need for increased Infrastructure, issues with the current economic crisis, and the Ukrainian and Russian conflict.
Shalanda D. Young, Director of the Office of Budget and Management, was the sole witness in the House and Senate Budget Committee hearings. Several specific issues were raised by committee members in regard to child welfare, including:
- Affordable childcare. Young noted that child care costs should not exceed 7% of a family’s income
- The Child Tax Credit. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated 41% of children are back in poverty after its expiration
- Behavioral health services
- Childhood education gaps
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra provided testimony and answered questions for the House Appropriation Committee. Similar themes arose from committee members. Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) specifically noted the impact of the pandemic on foster youth and the need for better access to mental health services and improved data collection.
Another key theme that was raised by multiple committee members was infant mortality rates and maternal health.
CWLA is supportive of a budget that significantly invests in supports and services that promote child and family well-being. The CWLA Budget Summary is available here.