Unemployment is at a historic high and jobless workers across the country are doing all they can to keep their families afloat. The unemployment benefits these struggling families receive kept at least 3.3 million Americans, including 1.5 million children, from falling into poverty in 2009 alone.
Last year’s recovery act included pivotal steps to enhance and transform the lives of Americans living in poverty. One such step was the creation of the TANF Emergency Fund, a $5 billion fund designed to help states meet the growing need for assistance and increase employment opportunities available to low-income families.
If Congress does not extend this critical funding stream by September 30, 2010, states will no longer be able to partner with the private sector to offer the successful subsidized job programs or the additional assistance families need to weather the recession. Write Congress today to pass legislation extending the TANF Emergency Fund.
Child nutrition programs provide many low-income kids with their only fully balanced, or sometimes only, meal each day.
If Congress does not reauthorize child nutrition laws this summer, millions of kids could miss out on improved access to food. Write Congress now to urge members to pass this legislation.
Unemployment across the country is hovering around 10 percent, with low-income communities, youth, single mother households, and communities of color facing disproportionate rates of joblessness. Congress has already, in the name of deficit-reduction, significantly scaled back the help for the jobless and FMAP assistance, cutting unemployment benefits by $25 a week and removing COBRA health benefits from the bill.
Write your senators and tell them to support an extension of unemployment insurance, Medicaid assistance and TANF Emergency fund. These measures will increase the short-term deficit by less than 1 percent and actually put us on stronger economic footing in the long term by contributing to economic recovery and creating jobs.
June 30th 2010 marks the 29th day that millions of unemployed workers have been left without jobless benefits as Congress continues to stall on passage of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (HR4213). The bill failed a third time just last week, unable to get the 60 votes necessary to get through the Senate.
Write your senators today and urge them to act swiftly to extend unemployment insurance and other job-creation measures.
Refundable tax credits like the EITC and CTC help ensure that work pays more than welfare, but they are at risk of losing much of their effectiveness. If Congress does not extend the improvements to the programs, a parent who works full time in a minimum wage position will have his or her annual credit reduced from $1,800 to $320 at the end of 2010. This would have a devastating effect on children in low-income families.
Research conducted by the Tax Policy Center reveals that 8 million children would lose the tax credit entirely if Congress allows the current Child Tax Credit improvements to expire, and an additional 10 million children would lose some of the credit. This change would lead as many as 600,000 more children to become poor and 4 million already poor children to fall deeper into poverty, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
We must stand up to preserve the 2009 reforms to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. But there is room for additional federal leadership, as well. If the current improvement expires, a family’s first $13,000 in wages will not count toward calculating the Child Tax Credit. Congress should change the law so that all earnings count in calculating the credit. A family with two children will receive $2,000 if full-time, year-round minimum wage earnings are all counted; but the same family will receive only $312 if the improvements expire.
The Local Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4812), sponsored by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and 150 other members of Congress, will create or save more than 1 million public and private sector jobs in local communities while restoring services our communities need badly.
Urge your representative to co-sponsor the Local Jobs for America Act, or thank them if they are already a co-sponsor. Your representative needs to hear that quick passage of the Local Jobs for America Act is imperative in putting Americans back to work, meeting pressing needs in our communities, and promoting economic recovery throughout the nation as a whole.
Future jobs and recovery legislation will be put at risk if Congress passes an appropriations spending limit below what the president has proposed. And it will become much more difficult to advance any policies for shared recovery without a budget resolution in place this year.
Tell your members of Congress to pass a budget that reflects the principles of shared economic recovery.
Our country cannot afford the job loss that will come from inaction. Every dollar of unemployment insurance benefits creates $1.90 of stimulus in the community. Our country will lose another 800,000 jobs if the Senate’s inaction cuts off benefits.
Demand that the Senate vote immediately to save jobs by extending UI benefits and COBRA subsidies through the end of 2010 and by providing aid to state and local governments.