Human Needs Report: What Congress Did and Didn’t Do Before the Summer Recess


July 18, 2016

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, Zika funding, the first major piece of authorizing legislation affecting housing vouchers and public housing since 1998, and other actions Congress took – and punted on – before leaving town for the summer recess. See below for the full analysis and links to each piece in the report.
Click here for the full PDF Human Needs Report:

Appropriations on Hold as Congress Starts Summer Recess
Members of Congress left DC last Thursday, July 14 to start their seven-week summer recess – the longest summer vacation Congress has taken in 60 years – freeing them up to attend the Republican and Democratic national conventions and for their own campaigning. Before leaving, however, they were already looking past the summer to the fall and acknowledging the breakdown of the appropriations process that has become more evident in the last few weeks. READ MORE »

House Appropriations Committee Approves Labor-HHS-Education BillDept of Ed
On Thursday, July 14, the House Appropriations Committee passed (31-19) the FY17 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS-Ed) appropriations bill, the largest of the 12 annual spending bills. According to a summary released by the Appropriations Committee majority, the measure would provide $161.6 billion in discretionary (annually appropriated) funding, $569 million (0.3 percent) below FY16 levels and $2.8 billion below President Obama’s request. READ MORE »

Congress Fails to Act on Bills to Help Communities of Color and Other Vulnerable PopulationsZikaPic
Despite calls from advocates urging Congress to act on several bills to prevent disproportionate harm to communities of color and other vulnerable populations before leaving town for the summer, members of Congress failed to do so. READ MORE »

Improvements to Housing Assistance Programs Head to President
In a win for low-income advocates and a rare act of overwhelming bipartisanship, the Senate on July 14 unanimously passed a bill that will make federal housing assistance programs more efficient and effective, improving lives for low-income families. READ MORE »

Rule Proposed to Curtail Payday Loan Debt Trap
payday lendingOn June 2, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new proposed rule to address payday, car title, and certain high-cost installment loans. These loans, which target low-wage workers and communities of color, too often trap low-income Americans in a cycle of debt and dramatically increase the likelihood of bankruptcy and delinquency on other bills. READ MORE »

Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill Falls in the Senate
SCOTUS immigration rallyAdvocates cheered a July 6 vote by the Senate that stopped the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act from advancing. The vote was 53-44, but the bill needed 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle and move forward. READ MORE »

Budget and Appropriations
criminal justice
Education and Youth Policy
gun violence
health care
Health Care Reform
Housing and Homelessness
Human Needs Report
Labor and Employment
payday lending
Poverty and Income
Social Security