FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 9, 2018
Contact: Sarah Schultz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.734.6510
Washington– Today, Congress passed a two-year, $300 billion budget agreement that would lift caps for both defense and non-defense discretionary spending, ending the second government shutdown this year. Congress will now undertake a deliberative process through March 23rd to develop a spending bill that will appropriate the agreed upon funds.
The budget deal contains positive and negative effects on policies that directly affect young people, including a $4 billion increase to existing funding levels to promote college completion and affordability. It increases funding to fight the mental health and opioid crises, which affect young people disproportionately, and provides additional funding for grants that provide subsidized childcare for low income families. The bill also adds four years of funding to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, on top of the six year extension in last month’s continuing resolution, and provides two years of funding for community health centers that provide much needed care to children and families.
But the bill fails to address the damage done to our health care system by the President and Congress via the tax bill and administrative actions, which have led to fewer with coverage and higher costs for consumers. Stakeholders across the political spectrum have urged Congress to pass reforms that both protect consumers and bring stability to insurance markets for nearly half a year. Congress must take action immediately to preserve affordable care for millions.
Most disappointingly, the deal does not include a solution to the the crisis created last fall by President Trump’s elimination of the the DACA program. Various bipartisan DACA proposals exist and are ready for a vote at the direction of GOP leadership in both chambers. Young Invincibles’ Policy and Government Affairs Manager, Allie Aguilera, calls for a swift, bipartisan solution to this issue on behalf of millions of millennials who stand with DREAMers:
“The DACA crisis becomes more urgent daily as more of America’s DREAMers lose DACA permits, become eligible for deportation, and are forced to leave jobs that are integral to their futures and the fabric of our nation, including some 20,000 teachers. With the important work of funding the government resolved, there is no justification for delaying a vote on the popular and bipartisan proposals, like the DREAM Act, that address this problem.
On January 22nd, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the voting public, and DREAMers themselves put their faith in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s word to carry out a deliberative legislative process to reach a compromise on DACA, and we will hold him to it. On the House side, Speaker Ryan continues to engage in the partisan delays that have led to 18,000+ DACA recipients losing protection since September, despite overwhelming support for DREAMers from both the public and within the chamber that he controls. The American people have spoken: they support DREAMers and want a permanent legislative solution to the DACA crisis. It is incumbent on the leaders of both chambers to heed their call, keep their promises, and get this done.”