In contrast to proposed cuts in FY 2018 budget, the FY 2017 budget increases funding for domestic early childhood education programs, and reaffirms U.S. leadership on international affairs and development
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 1, 2017) –Save the Children and Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) today applauded Congress for sustaining and in some cases increasing funding for poverty-focused and humanitarian relief accounts, as well as early childhood programs here in the U.S., in the fiscal year 2017 omnibus spending bill agreed to by Congressional negotiators last night.
In contrast to the Administration’s proposed budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018, the fiscal year 2017 omnibus supports strong U.S. engagement in the world, as well as opportunities for children here at home to learn and thrive.
"This bill sends a strong, bipartisan message that the U.S. must continue to engage in the world through both development and diplomacy. These are effective programs that save lives and make our nation stronger," said Michael Klosson, Save the Children’s Vice President for Policy & Humanitarian Response.
As a sign of Congressional engagement on international affairs, the bill calls on the State Department and USAID to report to Congress before taking action to re-organize the agencies.
The bill reflects continued U.S. investment in helping children and families around the world. The fiscal year 2017 omnibus includes increases to maternal and child health funding and approximately $1 billion in new funding to combat famine conditions around the world. Additionally, the omnibus calls for continued strong funding for nutrition, basic education, food security, and humanitarian assistance. It also requires a report to Congress on the opportunities presented by the use of innovative financing tools to end preventable child and maternal deaths, which would be authorized by the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, expected to be introduced later this month.
"This bill supports U.S. leadership not only toward ending preventable maternal and child deaths, but also to respond to key challenges around the world. We applaud Congress for providing critical humanitarian assistance at a time when 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen are at risk of starvation and malnutrition," said Klosson. "At about one percent of the federal budget, dollar for dollar, foreign assistance is one of the most effective uses of our taxes."
Here in the U.S., the omnibus supports increasing funding for critical early learning programs, including Head Start and Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), as well as 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
"I’m grateful that Congress prioritized children in the spending bill, making significant investments in programs that reach kids living in poverty during the most critical stages of their development," said Mark Shriver, president of SCAN. "While this is a step forward, it is imperative that Congress at least maintain these levels of funding when they take up the fiscal year 2018 budget in the weeks and months ahead."
The House and Senate are expected to vote later this week on the bill, which funds the government through September 30.
Highlights from the legislation include:
• Head Start – Increase of $85 million over FY16 to a total of $9.253 billion.
• Child Care and Development Block Grant – Increase of $95 million over FY16 to a total of $2.856 billion.
• Preschool Development Grant – Provides $250 million, equal to the FY16 enacted level.
• 21st Century Community Learning Centers – Increase of $25 million to a total of $1.191 billion.
• Maternal and Child Health — Increases funding to a total $814 million, including $275 million for Gavi, a global vaccine alliance aimed at creating equal access to new and underused vaccines, in line with the U.S. four-year commitment.
• Nutrition – Provides $125 million, equal to the FY16 enacted level.
• International Disaster Assistance – Provides $3.81 billion, approximately a $1 billion increase.
• Migration and Refugee Assistance – Provides $3.059 billion, which is level funding.
• Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) – Provides $50 million, which is level funding.
• Food for Peace – Provides $1.6 billion, a $116 million decrease.
• Feed the Future – Provides $1 billion, which is level funding.
• Basic Education – Provides $800 million for global education, which is level funding.
• McGovern-Dole School International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program – Provides $201.6 million, which is level funding.
• USAID Operating Expenses – Provides $1.356 billion, a $73.8 million increase.
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