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Children from both red and blue states are our future. One day they will spend part of their first Tuesday in November waiting in line to exercise their democratic voice. They will eagerly anticipate the return of non-political commercial breaks and whether excited or disappointed, welcome the final results. Then, they will be where we are now, needing to hold elected officials accountable for their campaign promises.

If we've given them a strong and safe foundation, then they will come together to work out their differences. They won't all agree on everything, but they will trust the process of our forefathers and press on to protect their own future: their children.

Now is our time. Right now our nation must decide the best path to balance the budget and reduce the deficit. While the fiscal details are debated and the power players vie for influence, we must come together to ensure children do not bear the brunt of balancing the budget. What good is a sound fiscal future if our children are not prepared to take it over?

Millions of children are reported for suspicion of abuse and neglect each year. They are from families struggling with economic insecurity, health and mental health challenges, and histories of trauma. Families on the edge can use resources to stabilize, mitigating the risk of maltreatment. Child welfare funding provides resources for children and families to heal. Child abuse and neglect prevention and safety net funding goes to resources that keep families strong and helps them find stability. Adoption funding helps new families form and solidify. Many of these funding streams have already been cut or capped in recent deals to reduce the deficit. It's time for us to take them off the table.

Discussions between the President and Congress are occurring right now to determine how are nation will reduce the deficit. Tell our elected officials to hold children and their families harmless. By protecting programs serving them, together we will raise the bar for children and families.

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