We are deeply saddened at the passing of Susan Rees, a great builder of the Coalition on Human Needs who served as Executive Director from 1983 to 1991.
We are so grateful Susan’s family has suggested contributions be made to CHN in Susan’s memory to continue the fight for justice.
If you would like to contribute to honor Susan Rees, please use the form below and email Radha Rath at email@example.com to let us know you are contributing in Susan’s memory.
You may also contribute by mail at the following address: Coalition on Human Needs, 1825 K Street, NW, Suite 411, Washington, DC 20006.
Struggling Families Need an Immediate Increase to the Child Tax Credit
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the lives and futures of millions of U.S. children and cut childhood poverty in half. I urge you to vote in favor of the expansion of the Child Tax Credit and raise the Earned Income Tax Credit for millions of struggling workers and families at this time of urgent need.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has created incredible health and economic problems for millions of U.S. families. We need to act now!
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “President Biden’s $1.9 trillion emergency relief plan includes a Child Tax Credit expansion that would lift 9.9 million children above or closer to the poverty line, including 2.3 million Black children, 4.1 million Latino children, and 441,000 Asian American children.”
If passed, this expansion of the Child Tax Credit would be available to 27 million children whose families don’t currently get the full credit because their parents don’t earn enough. And it would raise the maximum Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17, and to $3,600 for children under 6.
These changes are long overdue and, if passed, would cut childhood poverty nearly in half.
Congress can also help more than 17 million of the poorest adults, because the new proposal would increase their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). These are front-line workers without dependent children―cashiers, food preparers, and home health aides―who either now don’t qualify at all or get so little that the taxes they pay can push them deeper into poverty.
Take a look at this example of why we need to change the existing law:
In 2019, those earning between $10,000 and $20,000 received an average total of $850 from the Child Tax Credit while those earning between $75,000 and $100,000 typically received more than three times that amount, or the full $2,000 per child.
As part of the new legislation, the Child Tax Credit would no longer be tied to a minimum amount of family earnings, so families whose income is low would receive the full amount. We will no longer say to families: sorry, you’re too poor to get help.
The Credit would be increased from $2,000 to $3,000 for children 6 years of age through age 17; and increased to $3,600 for families with children younger than 6.
For workers without children, their maximum EITC would rise from about $530 to $1,500. A cashier earning $9 an hour at 30 hours a week now gets only $160 in her EITC; she still pays taxes that push her below the poverty line. The proposal before Congress would increase her EITC to $1,145, enough to edge her over the poverty line.
Together, we must demand Congress act swiftly to help U.S. families that are struggling in this terrible pandemic.
The economy won’t fix itself edition. At first glance, reasons for optimism abound. New COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths all are down sharply. This week’s wintry weather caused a hiccup in vaccine distribution, but 12.7 percent of all Americans – 42.3 million and counting – have now received at least the first vaccine. After January, the pandemic’s deadliest month, It is now possible to believe the worst is behind us.
But several new studies out this week show how much we have suffered and how far we have yet to go in order to restore our economy and address racial inequity. Hot off the press is a new report suggesting that 20 percent of business travel won’t come back, and 20 percent of workers will work from home indefinitely. That will cost us millions of jobs at hotels, restaurants, and downtown shops, in addition to ongoing automation of office support roles and factory jobs. These millions of workers will need to be retrained – and that will take money.
Too, we learned this week that Americans’ life expectancy plummeted by an entire year during the first six months of 2020 due to COVID-19 deaths. But again, like everything associated with this pandemic, the decline exposed racial inequity – the drop was much more precipitous for Black Americans than for white Americans.
Given that we have an economic downturn that is punishing Black, Latinx, and lower-income workers more than others, and an economy that will not fully recover on its own, we need help from Congress. Thankfully, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is progressing in Congress and could be voted on by the full House as early as late next week.
That plan would expand and extend unemployment benefits, expand the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, continue nutrition assistance, expand health coverage, increase housing assistance, provide fiscal aid for states, territories, tribes, and localities, provide funding for K-12 schools, and offer emergency funds to families facing hardship. Please tell your House member and Senators to cut child poverty in half by expanding the Child Tax Credit here.
The numberof new COVID-19 cases and deaths reported in the U.S. on Thursday, February 18. That’s a 44 percent drop in cases and 39 percent drop in deaths over the previous two weeks. Tweet this.
1 year/2.7 years
The average life expectancy for Americans dropped one year from 2019 to the first six months of 2020 due to COVID-19 deaths. For Black Americans, the drop was even more acute – 2.7 years. The drop was 0.8 years for whites. Tweet this.
Pacific Islanders were 2.7 times as likely to have died from COVID-19 than whites, as of February 4; Latinx were 2.4 times as likely. For Indigenous people, that number is 2.2 times; for Blacks, 2.1 times. Tweet this.
5 percent of all white people in New York City have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 3 percent of NYC’s Latinx and 2 percent of NYC’s Black people. Given the likelihood that Latinx and Black people are heavily represented in frontline jobs, this shows a troubling disparity. Tweet this.
The numberof new unemployment claims filed last week, up from the previous week. That includes 861,000 state UI claims and 516,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims. Economists had anticipated a drop in the claims this week. The fact that the decline did not occur is further evidence of a sluggish economy. Tweet this.
The percentof unemployed Americans nationwide who were actually getting benefits, according to a January survey.
The numberof additional Americans who could receive coverage under the Affordable Care Act marketplaces if the American Rescue Plan becomes law in its current form.
The lowest-paying industries accountedfor 31 percent of all jobs in February of 2020, but 57 percent of all jobs lost since then – stark evidence that the pandemic has devastated low-income workers in particular.
The numberof children in families with low or no income who would benefit from an expanded Child Tax Credit.
Between 7 and 11 million children livein households where the children did not have enough to eat in the past seven days. That compares with 1.1 million children in December of 2019. The current figure includes 28 percent of children in Black and Latinx households, compared to 10 percent in white households.