(Washington, D.C.) President Obama’s final budget lays the groundwork for the success of women and families. It makes major investments in early child care and education and funds new initiatives to reduce child hunger. It expands access to the post-secondary education that is essential to success in a 21st century economy. The budget supports fair treatment for women in the workplace and improves job quality for all workers, including a higher minimum wage, paid leave and stronger unemployment insurance protections. It ensures that senseless cuts to programs like housing assistance, services for the elderly, job training and others that help low-income families—which were only temporarily halted by last year’s budget deal—will not return. It also expands tax credits for low- and moderate-income workers while curbing tax breaks for very wealthy investors, corporations and large financial institutions.
The President’s budget also builds on the achievements of the Affordable Care Act, which continues to provide high-quality, affordable health care coverage to millions of women and their families. It extends incentives for the 19 states that have not yet expanded health coverage through Medicaid expansion, encouraging them to provide hard-working families in those states with the health coverage they need. It increases funding for critical family planning services through the Title X program and evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs and drops the current ban on the District of Columbia using local revenue for abortions for low-income women. Unfortunately, however, it fails to lift the other long-standing and harmful federal restrictions on abortion, including the Weldon Amendment and the Hyde Amendment, which denies insurance coverage of abortion for women who are enrolled in Medicaid except in the most extreme circumstances.
The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program at the National Women’s Law Center:
“We applaud President Obama’s final budget, which builds upon a legacy of progress toward inclusive economic growth by proposing a suite of policies that would set women and their families up to succeed at school, at work, and in their communities. While much work remains to reverse the long-term trends of stagnant wages and growing inequality, the President’s blueprint would increase the economic security of women and their families for years to come. But the budget does fall short in some important ways and we are disappointed that it fails to strike harmful restrictions on abortion.”