Tell Congress to fund and expand critical programs for families and children!
There are only a few weeks left for Congress to pass a major end-of-year spending bill and we’re doing everything in our power to ensure that it includes protections and investments for critical needs programming.
Some in Congress want to freeze all funding instead of responding to today’s needs. In a time of rising costs, that means cutting services.
People deserve access to safe, stable, affordable housing. It’s a human right. As inflation continues to cause pain at the gas pump and grocery stores, wages aren’t keeping up. In fact, 66% of workers say that inflation has outpaced the wage gains they’ve made in the past year.1
Right now, a full-time worker needs to earn $25.82 per hour to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home and $21.25 per hour to afford a modest, one-bedroom rental home.2
At the same time, too many families struggle to find and afford high-quality child care that meets their needs, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges. President Biden has proposed an historic investment in funding for child care and early education to help kids grow in these critical learning years and help support working families remain in the workforce.
Increased annual appropriations will be critical to ensure we build on recent relief investments and continue on the road to economic recovery. Higher food, rent, and heat, and raising pay for low-paid service workers — if these higher costs are not addressed, we’ll be helping fewer people. The dire effects of the pandemic will be felt for years to come and without investments in our future, we risk backsliding, further exacerbating racial wealth and income gaps.
The 61.2 million children get coal edition. This week, the U.S. marked two sad milestones. More than 50 million COVID-19 cases have now been confirmed since the pandemic began, and more than 800,000 people have died. The highly contagious omicron variant is here in the U.S. and is ricocheting through Britain and parts of Europe; on Thursday alone, Britain reported 88,376 new infections – the highest number since the pandemic began. “Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saidat a news briefing.
In the U.S., which often trails Britain and Europe in terms of COVID-19’s evolution, delta remains by far the dominant variant, and it continues to wreak havoc, particularly in Arizona, Colorado, and parts of the Midwest and Northeast. But that could be changing quickly. Top health officials warned in a briefing this week that omicron is spreading rapidly here and could peak in a massive wave of infections as soon as January. The prevalence of omicron in the U.S. jumped seven-fold in a single week, according to the CDC. The U.S. is not in lockdown mode, but COVID-19 is closing some schools, colleges and universities early, and hospitals are nearing capacity yet again in some areas. We know the booster shot is an important protection, but only 28.1 percentof those fully vaccinated in the U.S. have received it.
Also cancelled? The hope that the Senate will act on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan by Christmas. So we must fight on in January. The stakes are so high for all of us – including the 61.2 million children in 36 million families who have seen their final expanded Child Tax Credit monthly payment unless Congress takes action. You can call your Senators today: 1-888-738-3058 (thanks to NETWORK for the use of the number).
The daily averageof new COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. reported on Thursday, December 16. That’s a 31 percent increase in cases and a 23 percent increase in deaths compared to two weeks ago. Tweet this
61.2 million children in 36 million families received the latest expanded Child Tax Credit payment, distributed on Wednesday, December 15, according to the Treasury Department. The average payment to each family was $444. This will be the final monthly payment unless Congress extends the CTC expansion. Tweet this
For the week ending December 12, only 54.7 percent of fully vaccinated nursing home residents had received a COVID-19 booster shot. This is most disturbing for several reasons. First, the elderly are more at risk of dying from COVID-19 than other age groups, nursing home residents even more so. Second, the new, incredibly infectious omicron variant is infecting many fully vaccinated people but appears to struggle to infect people who have received their boosters. COVID cases are rising among unvaccinated nursing home residents, but not among those with booster shots. Tweet this
Three-fourths of the roughly 800,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 were 65 or older. One in 100 older Americans have died from the virus, compared to one in 1,400 Americans under 65.Tweet this
At least 75 members of the House and Senate held shares of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer during 2020, according to a new investigative report. Congress appropriated billions to help companies develop vaccines. In early January 2020, a share of Moderna traded below $20. Moderna peaked in September 2021 at more than $455 a share. Tweet this
1 in less than 7
The numberof Americans who have had confirmed cases of COVID-19. One in 420 Americans have died from the coronavirus; in Mississippi, the hardest-hit state with large Black and Native American populations, that number is one in 290.
The percentageof Americans who say they know someone who has died of or been hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a Pew Research Poll from September. A YouGov poll released in October found one-third of all Americans had a family member or close friend die of the virus.
Only about 61 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated. Around two million doses are being administered each day, a figure that includes booster shots.
Unvaccinated people are nearly 6 times more likely to contract COVID than are fully vaccinated people (not counting the booster) and 14 times more likely to die from COVID, according to the CDC(data from September 2021).
10,000 people turn 65 every day in the U.S., and we face an acute shortage of caregivers. The Build Back Better Act would create and support 390,000 new care work jobs each year over 10 years, nearly 300,000 of which would be living wage care jobs. It would also add an estimated $4 billion in additional income for current workers and their families each year.