In its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024, the Biden/Harris administration shared its vision and priorities for the nation. Consistent with President Biden’s longstanding commitment to preventing domestic and sexual violence and helping survivors heal, the budget would make major investments in programs that prevent violence and support both adult and child victims of abuse. In our view, the domestic and international investments the administration is proposing are badly needed and very wise.
At Futures Without Violence, we are particularly pleased that the administration wants to make major investments in some of our top priorities, including the Violence Against Women Act, Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, and some vitally important prevention programs and housing supports for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Specifically, the budget includes:
- $ 1 billion for the Violence Against Women Act, including new funding for restorative justice programs. This is a $300 million (43%) increase over what was included in the FY 2023 federal budget, which was the highest funding level in history;
- More than $519 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services, which is double last year’s appropriation; and
- $30 million for the Children Exposed to Violence initiative at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. That would be a $20 million increase.
Supporting Economic Justice
The Biden/Harris budget funds several groundbreaking programs and makes investments that would boost the economic security and safety of women, which is critical to helping survivors of domestic violence live safely and independently of their abusers.
It would restore the full Child Tax Credit, which cut child poverty in half in 2021, to the lowest level in history, when it was adopted temporarily as part of the American Rescue Plan. The administration would expand the credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child per year for children six years old and older, and to $3,600 per child per year for children under age six. It would also make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable, so that it no longer excludes children in the lowest-income families. It would once again allow families to receive monthly advance payments, so they can pay their bills, rather than waiting to get their tax credit all at once when they file their taxes.
The administration also proposes to create a national paid family and medical leave program, providing up to 12 weeks of paid leave so working people can take time off to care for a new child or a seriously ill loved one; heal from their own serious illness; deal with a loved one’s military deployment; or find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
The Biden/Harris budget proposal makes another major investment in child care.
Stopping Violence Worldwide
The administration’s budget proposal would make the largest commitment ever to addressing gender-based violence and gender equity worldwide, providing nearly $3 billion to advance gender equity and equality internationally.
FUTURES co-chairs the Coalition to End Gender-Based Violence Globally and leads much of the appropriations work for the coalition, so we were especially grateful to see the largest commitment ever to preventing and responding to gender-based violence, not less than $250 million.
At FUTURES, we will work with the administration to build awareness among members of Congress about the enormously positive impact these investments would have in making our country, and our world, safer and stronger.
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