Moms Applaud Increased Spending on Maternal and Child Health, But Failure to Invest More in Child Care, Address Pregnancy Discrimination, and Extend Expanded Child Tax Credit a Deep and Harmful Disappointment
“The FY23 budget Congress will vote on this week contains welcome new investments in maternal and child health and child nutrition – but in many other ways, this budget fails moms and families. It will perpetuate hardship and poverty, harming families and damaging our economy for years to come. Moms expected and deserve better.
“We commend the increased funding for WIC (the Women, Infants and Children program) and increases in child nutrition and summer feeding programs – but they should not have been funded through reductions in the SNAP benefits low-income families rely on. The increased maternal health investment, including giving states the option to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers and their babies for a full year, is a good step forward. Every state should take advantage of this option. But at this time when our nation is experiencing a maternal health crisis, with women of color experiencing the gravest harm, Congress must fully fund and enact all provisions in the Momnibus bill and fund many more programs than this budget supports to improve maternal mental health.
“It is a painful, bitter disappointment that the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, expansion of the Child Tax Credit, and more adequate investments in child care are not in the final budget. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has broad, bipartisan and business support and its exclusion means pregnant women will continue to face discrimination that forces them out of the workforce. The failure to extend the Child Tax Credit consigns millions more children and families to poverty and pain. The funding increases for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start are welcome but still not nearly enough to meet the crisis the country is facing; as a result, more families will be unable to find and afford the child care they need, more moms will be forced out of the labor force, businesses and our economy will continue to struggle, and more children will miss out on early learning opportunities.
“Lawmakers’ continuing failure to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other DACA recipients is cruel and counterproductive to our communities and economy.
“In too many ways, this budget lets moms and families down. We deserve better and expect more from the new Congress that will take office next year.”