Human Needs Report: Appropriations, Tax Cuts, Sentencing Reform and More


October 6, 2015

CHN just released our latest edition of the Human Needs Report, our regular newsletter on national policy issues affecting low-income and vulnerable populations. This edition includes articles on appropriations, tax policy, nutrition programs, social security, and sentencing reform. See below for the full analysis and links to each section of the report.
Click here for the full PDF Human Needs Report

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 »

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 »

Bill Introduced to Stop Cuts to Disability Insurance Beneficiaries
A bill introduced last week by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) would prevent millions of Americans with disabilities from seeing their benefits cut. The Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund (SSDI), a part of Social Security that provides crucial support to people with disabilities and serious medical conditions, needs to be replenished to be able to continue paying benefits at the current level. Without action, nearly 9 million workers with disabilities and nearly 2 million children of disabled workers will see their benefits cut by 20 percent at the end of 2016. READ MORE »

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. Neither the House nor the Senate has yet taken action on tax credits for low-income workers and their families. If improvements made in 2009 to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are allowed to expire in 2017, 16 million Americans – including 8 million children – will fall into poverty or become more deeply poor. READ MORE »

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 »

Budget and Appropriations
child nutrition
Child Tax Credit
Earned Income Tax Credit
Food and Nutrition
Human Needs Report
justice system
Poverty and Income
Social Security
tax extenders
tax policy