Today, Steve Pearce spoke at the Kids Count Conference hosted by NM Voices for Children.
“Steve Pearce told the Kids Count Conference today that he knows what it’s like for economically disadvantaged kids because he himself was poor until he was two years old. If that’s true, he’s sure forgotten,” said Marg Elliston, Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “Steve Pearce opposed expanding health care for kids, has voted multiple times to slash the food assistance programs that keep them healthy, and don’t even get me started on his indifference towards the children ripped from their parents at the border.”
Pearce doesn’t support expanding early childhood education, though New Mexico desperately needs it.
NM Political Report: Pearce: Fix education before expanding pre-K
He has also voted to cut Head Start enrollment…
7/24/03: Pearce voted to cut Head Start enrollment.
…And cut funding for Head Start and special education by millions…
12/19/05: Pearce voted against a measure to remove a cut to $7 million from special education and $69 million from Head Start.
…Cuts which kicked 9,000 kids out of the classroom.
CQ: “Head Start’s fiscal 2005 appropriation is $6.84 billion. Last year’s funding increase was so small that it didn’t keep up with rising expenses and thus actually amounted to an enrollment cut, according to Greene. Centers cut available slots by about 9,000 in the last school year, she says.”
Pearce opposed SCHIP expansion, which has greatly expanded health care access for kids.
2008: Pearce said he was proud to have voted against SCHIP legislation because “that’s Hillary Care Lite— the beginning of socialized health care.” [Albuquerque Journal, 2/20/08]
Medical Care Research and Review, 2012: “There is strong evidence for increases in enrollment in public programs and reductions in uninsurance following eligibility expansions. Medicaid enrollment continued to increase during the CHIP era (a ‘spillover effect’). Evidence for improved access to and use of services, particularly for dental care, is also very strong.”
Pearce has also voted multiple times to gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)…
9/19/13: Pearce voted for $40 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
4/30/15: Pearce Voted for Republican Conference Report On Budget For Fiscal Year 2016.
Washington Post: “The  budget slashes domestic discretionary spending […] The final bill includes a reduction in funding for federal Pell Grants and housing programs for low-income earners, and cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.”
…Which feeds about 23.5 MILLION kids.
CNN: “Food stamps cover more than 47 million people, nearly half children, according to the Agriculture Department.”
New York Times, 9/19/13: “A Census Bureau report released on Tuesday found that the food stamp program had kept about four million people above the poverty level and had prevented millions more from sinking further into poverty.”
Steve Pearce STILL has not visited the kids incarcerated at the border.
Matthew Reichbach, NM Political Report: “Spox for @RepStevePearce tells me: ‘Congressman Pearce has visited temporary facilities on several occasions when in New Mexico. We are working to set up a time when he can visit the current facilities as well.’ #nmpol”