Archives: Voices

Will Congress continue to address the digital divide? Millions of Americans are counting on it. 

Millions of Americans with low incomes will begin to lose internet access this May if Congress does not renew funding for a popular program aimed at reducing the digital divide between those who can afford broadband access and those who cannot. Since the launch of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) as part of bipartisan infrastructure legislation passed in 2021, the program has signed up an impressive 23 million Americans – the result of an effective outreach effort by the Biden Administration, state and local governments, and community organizers. 

The Biden Budget: A responsible roadmap to meet the demands of our time 

President Biden’s FY 2025 budget lays out important steps to meet our nation’s needs, provides help to those who need it most, invests in our future, and reduces the deficit over the next decade.  These investments and deficit reduction are possible because the budget requires profitable corporations and the wealthy to pay more of their fair share in taxes.  This combination of equity and investment make the Biden budget a highly responsible roadmap for the next decade and beyond. 

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, March 8, 2024

The State of the Union edition. When President Biden delivered his speech Thursday evening, it was an opportune time for reflection. What has our country gotten right over the past three years? Where have we fallen short? What accomplishments can we celebrate, and what of the unfinished business that remains? 

Progress and Purpose:  President Biden on the State of the Union 

President Biden’s State of the Union address forcefully laid out his vision for a stronger democracy leading to greater fairness and an economy that works for all Americans.  Delivering his speech on the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the civil rights march in Alabama met with brutal violence, he urged support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.  With stronger voting rights come greater accountability of elected officials, and greater accountability is likely to lead to policies ensuring that the rich and corporations pay more of their fair share of taxes.  The hundreds of billions in fair revenues the President proposed would allow for more investments in broadly shared economic benefits, from capped prescription drug costs to more affordable housing and education to a restoration of the historically effective Child Tax Credit. 

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, February 23, 2024

The Poison Pills Edition. Congress has set deadlines for completing 12 bills that provide funding for all the federal programs requiring annual appropriations – including nutrition for babies, toddlers, and the aging, rental subsidies, environmental protection, child care, education from pre-k to college, transportation, and a whole lot more. Some of these programs will see their funding run out on March 1; the rest on March 8, if Congress does not finally approve funding or pass another extension. If funding runs out, the programs covered will shut down until Congress finally acts. Despite the fast approach of these deadlines, Congress is now in a recess. The Senate will return on Monday, February 26; the House not until February 28, just two days before the March 1 deadline.   

CHN to Congressional appropriators: Say no to an extremist minority using poison pill riders to cut, block, and shut down

CHN’s Executive Director Deborah Weinstein joined with other organizations in the Clean Budget Campaign this week to call on Congress to do its job and pass bills to fund the full range of government services, and to reject inserting extremist policies in the funding bills that could not get majority support on their own. Her comments are included in a Facebook video presentation to be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 3:00 p.m.

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, February 2, 2024

The domestic emergency needs edition. You’ve heard some in Congress say we have an emergency along our Southern border. And yes, it is true that Republicans should join Democrats at the table and negotiate a comprehensive immigration bill – one that treats immigrants fairly, whether they are already here, or are seeking to come here due to facing political oppression or various other forms of violence at home. But as members of Congress stare down the FY 2024 appropriations process from both sides of the aisle, it is abundantly clear that we have a number of domestic human needs emergencies we must address.

CHN: The Senate should join the House to improve the Child Tax Credit 

With the House passage of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, Congress is one important step closer to making needed improvements in the Child Tax Credit that will benefit 16 million children in families with low incomes and lift 400,000 children out of poverty this year. Now the Senate must act expeditiously to pass the bill, with no amendments that would reduce the Child Tax Credit’s help to children.   

CHN urges timely yes vote on bipartisan Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

CHN this week urged Congress to vote for H.R. 7024, the bipartisan Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. We urge members of Congress to actively support moving the bipartisan tax package at the first opportunity because of important changes to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). We think it is critical that the expansions to the CTC can take effect this tax season. 

Coming in 2024: Health care savings for millions of Americans 

As we head into 2024, there is much to celebrate on the health care front. First, millions of Americans will save money on prescription drug costs in 2024 because of actions taken by President Biden and a previous Congress. And second, enrollments under the Affordable Care Act marketplaces are soaring to record numbers.