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Cutting Programs for Low-Income People Especially Hurts Women and Their Families

As Congress debates spending priorities and deficit eduction measures, it must protect programs for low-income families and individuals and ensure that deficit reduction does not increase poverty. 

This principle has been honored consistently in the major bipartisan deficit reduction packages of recent decades. It is particularly important to women, who are more likely than men to be poor at all stages of their lives because of ongoing employment discrimination and greater responsibilities for unpaid caregiving. As a result, women and their families disproportionately rely on federal programs to protect their health, obtain quality child care and higher education, and help them meet their basic needs during difficult times and as they age. 

Women and their families should not bear the brunt of deficit reduction. Increased revenues from those with the greatest ability to pay must be a major part of any deficit reduction plan. Maintaining and strengthening programs like those listed below protects the most vulnerable today and expands opportunity for a stronger shared future.