September 10, 2019

Warren, Booker, Colleagues, Call on Senate Appropriators to Prioritize Affordable Housing, Child Care, and Climate Change in Budget Negotiations

Warren, Colleagues, Applaud House Appropriators for Passing a Spending Package that Invests in At-Risk Families; Urge Senate Appropriators to Do the Same

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), along with Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Bob Casey  (D-Penn.) sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), calling on them to include robust funding for high-quality and affordable housing and child care programs, as well as initiatives to support a clean energy economy and combat the climate crisis.

 "A budget is a statement of a nation's values. It is critically important we afford our nation's children and families every opportunity to succeed, and that we take meaningful steps to combat the effects of the climate crisis on our health, economy, and security," wrote the lawmakers. "These investments will have countless long-term benefits to our nation, and we look forward to working with you to ensure they are included in the budget for Fiscal Year 2020."

In June 2019, Senator Warren and her colleagues called on Congressional negotiators to make funding for child care, affordable housing, and addressing the climate crisis top priorities in any budget deal.

Last month, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. The deal suspends the debt limit for two years and lifts spending caps by $320 billion. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a set of appropriations bills that included an additional $2.4 billion for child care, $5.9 billion for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) affordable housing programs - including $1.2 billion for housing vouchers, and nearly $1 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency and energy efficiency and renewable energy programs for Fiscal Year 2020. Senator Warren and her colleagues applauded these investments and encouraged Senate appropriators to replicate them to provide relief to America's most at-risk families.

Affordable housing, child care, and environmental protection have long been top priorities for Senator Warren.

Senator Warren successfully advocated for doubling federal support for child care during the FY2018 federal spending bill negotiations. The two-year budget agreement Congress passed in February 2018 doubled federal funding for Child Care and Development Block Grants by providing an additional $5.8 billion, the largest increase in the program's history. The funding helps 230,000 more kids access child care.

She recently partnered with Representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to unveil the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act, a comprehensive and bicameral bill that would provide millions of families with free, high-quality child care and early learning options and ensure that every family in the country can affordably access these services.

She is the author of one of the most ambitious plans proposed in the last fifty years to combat the affordable housing crisis. She partnered with Representative Cedric Richmond (D-La.) to introduce the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, which would produce or preserve more than 3 million new housing units over the next decade and bring down rents for low-income and middle-class families by 10%.

She has also introduced legislation along with Representative Sean Casten (D-Ill.), the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, to require every public company to disclose critical information about their exposure to climate-related risks. She is an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal Resolution and the lead sponsor of a bill, with Representative Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.), to require the Department of Defense to adapt its infrastructure and operations to address climate change and improve energy efficiency in order to strengthen military readiness.