Congressional debt bill would harm children and families

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: May 12, 2023

The Children’s Campaign is deeply concerned by cuts to crucial programs that support families in U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt-limit-and-cuts bill, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. These cuts will increase poverty and harm Colorado children and families. The cuts will also make it even more challenging for Colorado to serve the children and families who live in our state. 

The bill would make already-onerous work requirements for the TANF program more stringent and limits states’ flexibility in how they provide assistance to families, which could result in Colorado losing up to 21% of the federal TANF block grant it currently uses to provide this assistance. The TANF program (called Colorado Works in our state) provides critical support, including basic cash assistance, to families living far below the poverty level. TANF basic cash assistance is the most targeted approach Colorado can take to reducing extreme childhood poverty. Work requirements have been shown to be ineffective in helping families find employment or move out of poverty. 

The bill would also institute a policy that takes federal Medicaid coverage away from people who aren’t able to prove they meet a work-reporting requirement or qualify for an exemption.  Most adults on Medicaid are already working.  

The bill would also expand an existing, ineffective policy that takes Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP) support away from people who don’t meet a work-reporting requirement or prove they qualify for an exemption. Growing evidence shows that SNAP’s existing requirement increases hardship and hunger, making it more difficult for people to find and retain work.  

We call on the U.S. Senate to reject the House bill and any cuts to TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid and enact a clean, bipartisan bill that raises the debt ceiling. Contact your senator to let them know you oppose this bill. 

You can read more about the cuts in the McCarthy bill from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities here. 

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About Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit