Archives: Voices

CHN applauds Biden Administration’s new standards for collecting race and ethnicity data

CHN applauds the Office of Management and Budget for the revised Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity released today. These standards will significantly improve our understanding of our country’s diversity. The data collected using these standards will be far more accurate and will be used for everything from redistricting at the federal, state, and local levels, to ensuring equal opportunity and fair treatment for all students, to assessing differences in disease rates and health care for different communities, to ensuring equal access to federally funded programs and benefits.

Care matters. How are the states measuring up? 

A new report grades all states plus Washington, D.C. on a range of care policies – and while many are improving, not a single state walked away with an ‘A.’ The report, Care Matters: A 2024 Report Card for Policies in the States, was researched, written, and published by The Century Foundation and Caring Across Generations. It assessed states’ performances across multiple issue areas – child care and early learning, home- and community-based services, paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, fair working conditions for care workers, and family supporting tax policies. 

Pull out all your advocate tools for the Child Tax Credit 

In his State of the Union address earlier this month, President Biden called on Congress to restore the fully expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). This version of the CTC is similar but not identical to one enacted for 2021 only and that cut child poverty by more than a third. The President also proposed restoring the 2021 CTC in his FY2025 budget proposal. The President is clearly aware of the transformational impact the 2021 CTC had for millions of children and families. He is right to want it again. 

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, March 22, 2024

The FY 2025 budget needs edition. As we write this, Congress is limping along toward what we hope will be final passage of the FY 2024 appropriations bills. Because Congress is almost six months late in completing this process (the FY 2024 year began on October 1, 2023), human needs advocates are preparing to pivot quickly to 2025 spending. 

CHN urges passage of FY 2024 appropriations package

Editor’s note: Below is  a letter sent on behalf of the Coalition on Human Needs to all members of the House of Representatives, urging a “yes” vote on the package of appropriations bills before them.  Update: After the House approved the package Friday afternoon, a second letter urging package was delivered to all members of the Senate. The Senate gave final approval to the legislation early Saturday morning, and it is on its way to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

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.