Monthly Archives: October 2015

  • CHN: Pressing Up Against the Debt Ceiling

    Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is warning that Congress must avert disaster by acting to raise the debt ceiling by November 3rd when the United States will reach its borrowing limit. Congress has the sole authority to increase the amount the Department of the Treasury can borrow to pay its bills. Read More »

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  • CHN: Transportation Bill Action this Week; End of Year Deal a Possibility

    As October wraps up, there are a number of big legislative items Congress still needs to deal with, including resolving FY16 funding, raising the debt ceiling (see related article in this Human Needs Report for more on this), addressing a package of corporate tax breaks, and the reauthorizing the transportation bill. Lawmakers are expected to Read More »

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  • CHN: Bill to Defund Sanctuary Cities Falls in the Senate

    A bill that advocates said would have increased deportations, increased the number of non-violent offenders behind bars and reduced trust in the police failed to pass a procedural hurdle in the Senate last week (54-45; 60 votes were needed). Read More »

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  • CHN: Sentencing Reform Bill Moves through Committee

    The bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 passed (15-5) the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, three days after the committee held a hearing on the bill. Several advocacy groups, including CHN, sent letters in support of the legislation to members of the committee prior to the Thursday vote. Read More »

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  • CHN: Government Funding Approved Through December 11; Major Legislative Hurdles Ahead

    A government shutdown was averted when the House and Senate agreed to a continuing resolution (CR) providing short-term funding for annually-appropriated programs in the new fiscal year (FY) 2016, which began October 1st. At the heart of the current standoff over funding are the spending caps (aka “sequestration”) for domestic, international and Pentagon discretionary programs. Defense hawks want more funding for the Pentagon and Democrats and some Republicans would like relief on the domestic side. Read More »

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  • CHN: Child Nutrition Programs Continue Despite Lack of Reauthorization Bill

    While the law governing child nutrition programs expired on September 30, language in the Continuing Resolution passed to avert a government shutdown means the programs will continue to be funded and will continue to operate. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act sets the policy and funding structure for all of the federal school meal and child nutrition programs, including School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and others. Read More »

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  • CHN: House Leaders Look to Make Permanent Business Tax Breaks; No Action Yet on Low-Income Tax Credits

    On September 17, the House Ways and Means Committee, headed by Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), passed five bills to make permanent several tax breaks, mostly for corporations. The largest break, which lets corporations more quickly write off investments (known as ‘bonus depreciation’), would cost $280 billion over the next 10 years. Read More »

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  • CHN: New Sentencing Reform Bill Introduced with Bipartisan Sponsorship

    In a hyper-partisan Congress, bipartisan support for significant legislation is increasingly rare. But recognition is growing that prison terms are far too long, discriminatory, ineffective and expensive. In a significant development, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley (R-IA) joined with nine other key senators to cosponsor the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S. 2123), introduced on October 1. Read More »

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