Children in America


Half of the US senators and a majority, of the members of the US House of Representatives voted to undermine and cut guaranteed health protections for 25 million children who depend on Medicaid as their health lifeline at a time when 9 million children hack any health insurance; to cut billions from child support as hunger and homelessness stalk the land; and to cut funding from an overburdened and underfunded foster care system. A majority of the members of both the House and Senate also voted to weaken laws that would help protect children from the guns that took 2,867 child and teen lives in the most recent year--almost eight every day. Our congressional leaders said we could afford only $1 billion of the more than $12 billion that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said low-income working mothers and their children need to stay off welfare, but we could afford tens of billions for more capital gains and dividend tax breaks for the very, wealthiest Americans.

Thirty Senators (almost one-third) and 167 House members (over one-third) scored 0 percent in voting on legislation that will impact the lives of children in America. Twenty-three Senators and 90 House members scored 100 percent. The CDF Action Council considered nine votes in the Senate and nine votes in the House of Representatives crucial in their impact in helping or hurting children. Of those 18 votes, most related to budget and tax choices that cut children's vital programs to give tax cuts to the wealthy. How we spend our nation's money is the true measure of what we value as a nation. Members of Congress also voted to make it easier for the federal government to punish children for a range of offenses as adults, impeded timely reauthorization of the successful Head Start program by attaching a provision allowing religious discrimination in employment in Head Start, and voted to protect the gun industry, from liability rather than children from gun violence.

This Nonpartisan Scorecard, published annually, is part of the CDF Action Council's public education, ongoing policy analysis and advocacy for children and should not be taken as an endorsement of any candidate for public office.

The full text of this scorecard can be viewed online at www.cdfactioncouncil. …

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