With New Year’s fast approaching, the “fiscal cliff” puts billions of dollars of critical investments for children at risk. If policy makers do nothing, millions of children could be pushed into poverty with the expiration of improvements to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Families with an income of less than $50,000 could see their taxes go up by $1000 from just the changes to these and other tax credits.
Sequestration, automatic across the board cuts to most areas of the government, will cut investments to kids by $6.4 billion in 2013 alone. Here are some of the real impacts nationwide:
- 734,000 families and kids could lose nutrition assistance.
- 500,000 kids could lose their special education services.
- 200,000 fewer kids would receive immunizations.
- 180,000 families could lose access to affordable housing and many could end up homeless.
- 96,000 kids could lose early childhood education through Head Start.
A failure to extend unemployment insurance could jeopardize the well-being of 6 million children who live in families with an unemployed parent. Nearly half of these children have a parent who has been out of work for 6 months or longer, making it even more imperative that emergency unemployment compensation is extended.
Both the House and Senate will return to session Sunday afternoon, with the opportunity to avert these cuts. Even with the deadline close, there’s still time to take action and let your members of Congress know that investments to children are not the cause of our fiscal imbalance. To ensure a bright future, we need to make sure those investments are cut no further.
It doesn’t have to take long – send an email or a tweet while you enjoy your breakfast – or call and make your voice heard. Here are some ways you can contact your members of Congress:
- Call the Capitol Switch Board at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to your Representative or Senator. Not sure of who to ask for visit the House Directory or the Senate Directory.
- Send an email to your Representative or Senator.
- Send a Facebook or Twitter message to your Representative or Senator.
- Sign on to the MomsRising petition asking Congress to prioritize kids.
- Visit First Focus’s page on Children and Families in the Fiscal Cliff to learn more.