Archives: Voices

American Family Act would bring back expanded Child Tax Credit, make other improvements 

More than 200 House members this week signed on to legislation that would once again expand the Child Tax Credit, a move that would comprehensively reduce child poverty in the U.S. The American Family Act (AFA) was introduced Wednesday by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and Ritchie Torres (D-NY). The legislation comes as House Republicans are preparing to bring forth legislation to extend some Trump tax cuts passed in 2017, including cuts favored by large corporations.

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, June 2, 2023

The We, the Hostages edition. Congress has passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act and it will soon be headed for President Biden’s signature. Passage will allow our nation to meet its obligations and avoid financial ruin. But the toll exacted by House Republicans during negotiations with the Biden Administration will be paid for years – and will harm the vulnerable and those with low incomes the most. 

We, the Hostages:  Disappointments in The Fiscal Responsibility Act — Statement on Behalf of the Coalition on Human Needs

We the hostages appreciate the Biden Administration’s efforts to reduce the severity of these cuts and restrictions.  But it is still a great disappointment that the basic thrust of this agreement is still to deny assistance to some of our poorest people.  It will reduce investments that we badly need to overcome the worsening affordable housing crisis for low-income renters, to help students overcome the learning deficits that worsened during the pandemic, and to address mental health and substance use crises.  It allows increases in the Pentagon without examining the evidence of military contractor price-gouging.  It not only fails to secure new revenues from wealthy individuals and corporations, it undermines the IRS’ capacity to collect taxes already owed from those with high incomes. 

‘We know this default on America’s families is an assault on America’s families’

When Breanna Dietrich was pregnant with her youngest daughter, she was working as a manager at a pizza joint. Her pregnancy was considered high risk; she battled a number of health issues, including a heart murmur. “About six months into my pregnancy, I had a medical emergency and needed to go to the hospital,” said Dietrich, a mother of four who lives in Wheeling, West Virginia. “But my managers said I couldn’t go, because they needed me behind the counter. I knew in that moment I was choosing between my job and my baby’s health. I dropped my keys and walked out the door. They said I had quit. I didn’t qualify for unemployment.”

Investments in America must be the goal of any debt or budget negotiation

The United States is fast approaching the debt ceiling, an arbitrary and arcane cap on how much the government can borrow to pay its bills. If the ceiling doesn’t get lifted periodically, the country defaults and catastrophe follows. But now, congressional Republicans who repeatedly raised the ceiling under Donald Trump refuse to raise it under Joe Biden unless Democrats agree to devastating cuts to federal programs. They’re taking us all ransom to inflict suffering on the families who’ve done the least to drive the national debt.

Beware: Vicious spending caps by GOP are designed to hurt — not help — U.S. economy

Americans are facing problems that need solutions. We have a shortage of workers across employment sectors, and it is holding our economy back. Our children are suffering, with declining performance in school and surging emergency mental health needs. Millions of people struggle to pay for food and rent. Over the past decade, federal spending caps limited the nation’s ability to respond to these needs. In a new analysis of 178 federal programs that serve people with low incomes, the Coalition on Human Needs found that more than two-thirds had lost ground from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2023, adjusted for inflation.

713 groups tell Congress: Avoid harmful cuts to human needs programs, raise revenues responsibly to cut deficit, pay for shared investments

Seven hundred and thirteen organizations are telling all members of Congress Monday to support responsible policies to strengthen our nation and build shared prosperity. The 713 groups signed a letter circulated by the Coalition on Human Needs to oppose House proposals to enact severe spending cuts – including cuts to health care, SNAP, public housing, TANF, and so many other key programs – as the price for agreeing to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The letter were delivered to members’ offices Monday afternoon.

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, May 19, 2023

The twin threats edition. We could be less than two weeks away from defaulting on our national debt. By now, you’ve probably heard what happens if we default – read on for more details. But there is more than one threat to our nation. Even as you read this, the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are negotiating what some in the human needs community fear will be cuts to programs Americans rely on for their very survival. Already, the House GOP has passed legislation that would cut trillions in domestic spending over the next decade. 

The Urgent Need to Invest, Not Cut: Cuts in Two-Thirds of Human Needs Programs Must Be Reversed, Not Worsened

Human needs programs have lost ground for more than a decade, and the high inflation rates of the past two years have continued this harm. In the 178 programs tracked annually by the Coalition on Human Needs, 123 (more than two-thirds, or 69 percent) saw cuts from FY 2010 through FY 2023, adjusted for inflation. More than two-fifths (74 programs; 42 percent) lost 20 percent or more over this period. These losses were caused by a decade of capped spending.

Expert witness: House debt, default, cut bill could lead to recession as early as this fall 

The House GOP proposal to slash domestic spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling would cost the economy 790,000 jobs and $141 billion over the next year and a half, the Senate Budget Committee heard this week. That prognosis came from Mark Zandi, Chief Economist for Moody’s Analytics. Zandi testified about the probable effects of either defaulting on the national debt or  not defaulting on the debt, but passing severe cuts. His testimony came after the House last week passed the “Limit, Save, and Grow Act,” largely along a party-line vote. 

The public wants gun safety. So why isn’t Congress acting? 

On June 12, 2016, the city of Orlando experienced one of the worst tragedies in recent memory when a gunman entered a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community and took the lives of 49 people. This was the second deadliest mass shooting in the United States but obviously not the last. It is not up for debate that guns have made this country increasingly unsafe. But right-wing leaders take every opportunity to allow weapons of mass destruction to proliferate. Just last month in the state of Florida, where the Pulse, Parkland, and countless other tragedies have taken place, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that would allow for permitless carry in the state.