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What the Omnibus Spending Bill Means for Children and Youth

On December 20, 2022, the Senate released a $1.7 trillion federal budget in an omnibus bill. The budget release follows months of bipartisan collaboration to create a package that positively impacts American families.   

Specific to the issues that inform our work, this bill1 provides meaningful and substantive spending provisions that include economic relief and extended healthcare resources for families and children across the nation. Some of the major provisions that impact children and youth include:  

  • A $13.4 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 
  • A $6 billion increase for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) 
  • A $28.5 billion allotment for other essential child nutrition programs 
  • Expansion of healthcare coverage to include mental health screenings for children and youth, including youths released from public institutions 
  • A $7.67 billion investment to the Child Care and Development Block Grant and $12 billion toward Head Start 
  • New public reporting requirements related to Healthcare Unwinding 2 

The passing of this bipartisan bill comes at a pivotal time when families nationwide, regardless of racial, economic, and social background, are rising out of unforeseen, unprecedented, and unpredictable circumstances. Given the historical systemic disadvantages Black and Brown communities continue to face in our nation, Children’s Defense Fund recognizes that the provisions included in this bill have potential to offer economic restoration and relief to the families and causes we continue to fight for. Despite the omission of the Child Tax Credit and permanent protection for “Dreamers,” we continue moving toward a future where children and youth have the resources they need to grow into successful adults. As defenders of children, youth, and families, we are committed to continuing our advocacy for policies and programming relevant and responsive to the communities they are designed to serve. 


Ajené Holmes

Federal Policy Associate, Children’s Defense Fund

Kimberly Martin

Federal Policy Associate, Children’s Defense Fund

2023-01-03T10:46:05-05:00December 21st, 2022|