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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 K-shaped recovery edition. COVID-19 daily infections are down over the past two weeks. Hospitalizations are down. Deaths are down, slightly. Vaccinations are on the rise – more than 22 million Americans have received their first shot, and the rolling average of shots per day has climbed to over one million. All of which is encouraging news.
But the economic news is not so encouraging. New information out this week confirms what many have feared: we are experiencing a K-shaped recovery. The top end of the economy continues to improve while lower earners fall farther and farther behind. The businesses hit hardest in 2020 – and those that continue to struggle today, if they even still exist – disproportionately employ women, people of color, and workers without college educations.
Vaccines alone won’t pull us out of this economic morass. Only swift, bold, and long-lasting action by Congress will do that, and that means passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. But vaccines are key, as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell noted this week, when he saidthere is “nothing more important to the economy right now than getting people vaccinated.”
That said, vaccines by themselves won’t put food on the table, open child care centers, or bring back the ten million jobs that have evaporated since the pandemic began. Along with the vaccines, we need to pass the plan now. You can tell your members of Congress to pass the plan here.
As of Thursday, January 28, new COVID-19 infections in the U.S. numbered165,073, a 34 percent decrease from two weeks earlier. 3,862 deaths were reported, down 2 percent. Tweet this.
The U.S. economy shrunkby 3.5 percent in 2020, its worst performance since 1946. Tweet this.
Last week marked the 45th consecutive week that new unemployment insurance claims were higher than the worst week of the Great Recession. 1.27 million new claims were reported– that includes regular UI claims plus Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims (gig/self-employed workers). Tweet this.
The nation’s real unemployment rate, if we adjust the official rate with the decline in workforce participation along with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimate of misclassification. Tweet this.
More than 20%
The Federal Reserve estimatesthat the unemployment rate for workers in the bottom wage quartile is more than 20 percent. Tweet this.
More than 1 million
In three of the biggest employment sectors for low-education (high school diploma or less) workers – construction, bars and restaurants, and hotels and motels – more than a million jobs were lost between December 2019 and December 2020.
The unemployment rate is 3.9 percent for those Americans able to work from home; among those who have to report to a job site, it is 8.5 percent.
Nearly 24 million
The numberof adults who reported their households did not have enough to eat during the previous seven days, according to Census data gathered January 6-18. That’s 11 percent of all adults in the U.S.
The numberof adult renters who weren’t caught up in rent. That’s one in five adult renters.
More than 80 million
The numberof adults who reported that it was somewhat or very difficult to cover usual expenses during the past seven days. That’s 35 percent of all adults.