Our federal budget reflects the values and priorities of our nation. Each year, Congress passes budget and appropriations legislation that allocates federal dollars for government programs and services for the coming fiscal year. The outcome of the federal budget process has a significant impact on the lives of all Americans — especially women and children. Just as women and children make up a disproportionate number of those living in poverty, they also represent the largest population of recipients of many of the human needs programs, such as child care assistance, nutrition programs, and housing assistance, that take aim at poverty.
NCJW believes that the moral test of a nation is how it treats its most vulnerable members. In recent years, the United States has failed that test, cutting the budgets of human needs programs and diverting critical federal dollars to military spending. Federal investments must ensure that human needs programs are fully funded including health care, lifelong education, opportunities to work, income supplements when work is not possible, and affordable necessities, including food, housing, and caregiving for children, seniors, and people with disabilities.