Murray decries Head Start cuts as 'heartbreaking'

Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, made the comment after Health and Human Services (HHS) released the official numbers that 57,000 children were cut from Head Start this year because of sequestration — automatic across-the-board spending cuts.

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Head Start, which provides early learning to children before they enter school, also expects to cut 1.3 million days of service, shorten school days and reduce salaries of 18,000 employees.

“I've heard stories like this from Washington state and across the country for months, and this new information makes it all the more clear that workers and families are struggling as a result of the automatic cuts, and that responsibly replacing sequestration must be our top priority,” Murray said.

Earlier this year, the Senate barely passed Murray’s budget, which would have replaced sequester cuts with an equal balance of targeted spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy and corporations.

Republicans have refused to allow a budget committee conference to work out the major differences between the House and Senate. Despite that, Murray has continued to call for a budget resolution that replaces sequestration with “smarter” cuts that prioritize programs benefiting the middle class, such as Head Start.