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.
Tell Congress: Pass the American Rescue Plan
President-elect Joe Biden released details of his administration’s first legislative proposal, a $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, titled the “American Rescue Plan.”
The scale of the plan is more than twice the size of the Obama-era Recovery Act and is modeled on an FDR-style strategy to put our country in a better position than it was before the pandemic hit.
The package, according to the New York Times, “includes more than $400 billion to combat the pandemic directly, including money to accelerate vaccine deployment and to safely reopen most schools within 100 days. An additional $350 billion would help state and local governments bridge budget shortfalls, while the plan would also include a dramatic increase in tax credits to help lift children, families, and workers out of poverty, $1,400 direct payments to individuals, more generous unemployment benefits, federally mandated paid leave for workers, food and housing aid, and large subsidies for child care costs.”
In his announcement of the plan, Biden said, “The very health of our nation is at stake. We have to act and we have to act now.”
More than 23 million Americans have contracted COVID-19 and roughly 400,000 have already died.
It’s critical that members of Congress hear from people in every state across our country. This is a time for action. Congress must start legislating solutions to the economic and health crises caused by the pandemic.
This is a historic rescue package to fund vaccinations and contain the virus, deliver direct, immediate relief to those hardest hit, and support struggling communities. The American Rescue Plan includes:
A $20 billion national vaccine program with nationwide community vaccination centers.
Hiring 100,000 additional public health workers for vaccine outreach, contact tracing, and other work to improve care in underserved communities
An education campaign to persuade people the vaccines are safe and effective
More money for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and protective supplies
Increased access to health coverage through subsidies for COBRA for the unemployed and increased Premium Tax Credits to help people afford insurance, as well as expanded mental health and substance use disorder services
$1,400 stimulus checks on top of the current $600 payments
Enhanced unemployment insurance benefits
Increased food assistance in all states and territories for the duration of our current crisis, with automatic triggers for increases during future health or economic crises
Critical aid to renters, people threatened with or experiencing homelessness, and households unable to pay heat or water bills
An extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratoria
Money for small businesses targeted to those hardest hit, including those owned by people of color
$350 billion for state, local and territorial governments that have seen finances plummet during the pandemic recession, crippling services and causing layoffs
Funds for public transit agencies
$170 billion for schools, including roughly $130 billion dedicated toward safe reopening and/or effective remote learning for K-12, and funds to help colleges deal with the shift to distance learning and other pandemic-tied problems.
Dramatic increases to the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child, or $3,600 for a child under 6 years old. (These credits are fully refundable, which means even the poorest families in our country can receive the full benefit. This measure also increases the Earned Income Tax Credit for the poorest workers without dependent children.)
An increase in the federal minimum wage to $15/hour
$20 billion to support Tribal governments’ pandemic response, including health care and increased access to clean water, electricity and broadband
14 weeks Paid Sick and Family and Medical Leave
The most recent jobs report shows job losses are continuing—leaving far too many Americans barely scraping by, or falling further and further behind, through no fault of their own as they lose jobs or see smaller paychecks.
With both houses of Congress controlled by Democrats, and Joe Biden in the White House, we now have an opportunity to pass legislation that reflects our shared priorities and meets the urgency of the moment.
The Reckless Abandonment Edition. While President Trump admits to misleading the American public on the health threat posed by COVID-19 – and more than 191,000 Americans are dead partly as a result – there can be no denying that the economic threat our country faces is dire. And yet: still no meaningful action from the Senate. Food scarcity in this country is exploding at an alarming rate. An eviction moratorium is in place, but due to loopholes and bureaucracy, people are still being evicted – and tens of millions more will join them early next year unless Congress provides emergency rental assistance. The $600 weekly federal UI payment has long expired – and the temporary, not-quite-workable $300 that the President authorized by taking disaster relief funds from FEMA soon will run out, even in states that are distributing the relief (almost two-thirds are not). Unemployment is rising again, but without schools and child care centers re-opening, many parents will be unable to work – even if they could find jobs, which many can’t. But instead of offering a serious response, Senate Majority Leader McConnell put a grossly inadequate bill on the floor that predictably and rightfully failed. That leaves the possibility that no relief package will be approved until the new year. This is unacceptable and outrageous. Bipartisan negotiations in Washington, D.C. must begin immediately.
The number of statesthat have made payments to jobless workers under President Trump’s Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) program. The rest have not yet started (South Dakota won’t provide this aid at all). Texas already has announced its last payment, offering only six weeks of aid. Tweet this.
The number of households in America’s four largest cities – New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston – that report facing serious financial problems, with issues ranging from depleting their savings to serious problems paying rent, according to a new poll. It’s worse for Latinx and Black households. Tweet this.
The number of Americans who could be food insecure by year’s end, according to Feeding America. That would be a 46% increase since the pandemic began.
$312b – $500b
The combined budget shortfall through summer 2022 for state and local governments, respectively, according to an analysis by Moody Analytics.
The number of adults who reported that they or someone in their household didn’t have enough to eat in the past seven days. That was true of 12 million adults in households with children — 14.1% of all adults in households with children.
The percentage of people Feeding America’s more than 200 food banks nationwide are serving who had never had to rely upon a charitable food system before the pandemic struck.
The number of adults who are now uninsured. (18.6 million of these are between the ages of 18 and 64.)