COVID-19 has exacerbated already too high levels of food insecurity in America. We urge Congress and the White House to take action now to limit the depth and duration of this health and economic crisis by ensuring that the basic food needs of struggling families and individuals are met. Congress and the White House must act now to increase the SNAP maximum benefit, increase the SNAP monthly minimum benefit, and suspend SNAP time limits and rules changes that would cut SNAP eligibility and benefits.
CDF’s Testimony for the Hearing on Tax Relief to Support Workers and Families During the COVID-19 Recession
CDF submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee on the need to support children and families with direct cash payments and expanded refundable tax credits throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant economic downturn.
Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, millions of children and families, especially families of color, were struggling to afford housing. Housing disparities in America are a matter of racial justice; fair and affordable housing is out of reach for far too many Black and Brown families who often live in segregated neighborhoods.
CDF Opposes the Costly Tax Breaks for Millionaire Business Owners and Corporations in COVID-19 Package
CDF urges Senators to support repeal of costly tax breaks for millionaire business owners and corporations contained in the CARES Act and to oppose any other tax cuts for the rich and corporations in future COVID-19 relief and recovery bills. Instead, we recommend that your priorities be providing a major infusion of support to maintain state and local public services communities depend on, including public safety, healthcare, schools and sanitation; helping workers stay employed or providing them with robust unemployment benefits; giving more direct aid to families; and adequately funding public health.
The pandemic has magnified our nation’s failure to provide robust assistance for children and families in times of crisis. COVID-19 has also laid bare the systemic economic, social, and racial inequities embedded in our unjust systems. Today, communities of color are bearing the brunt of the fatal impacts of these injustices. People of color are more likely to have lost jobs due to COVID, are dying at more rapid rates compared to their white counterparts, and are more likely to live in poverty. As new research shows that the pandemic could cause child poverty rates to rise by 53 percent, especially for children of color, Congress must act now. Authorizing and expanding a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund and making long-term changes to the TANF block grant are more important than ever to make sure children and families can survive this crisis. Families should not have to worry where their next meal will come from or face harsh requirements that were impossible to meet even before this pandemic.
We urge USDA to use its full authority to quickly extend the rest of the nationwide waivers, and state-specific waivers such as area eligibility, until September 30, 2020, or at least August 31, 2020. Extending the waivers is not only in the interest of public health, it also provides consistency for families and eases the administrative burden on state child nutrition agencies and FNS staff. The urgency of extending these waivers now cannot be understated as schools, local government agencies, and private nonprofits are making decisions today about whether or not they will continue to operate these programs this summer.
This pandemic has laid bare the catastrophic consequences of our nation’s failure to address hunger and poverty, especially for our children.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the consequences of allowing so many children and families in America to live in poverty. Expanding and increasing the Child Tax Credit and creating a new Young Child Tax Credit will help reduce rapidly rising child poverty, provide meaningful assistance for working families, and help stabilize the economy during and beyond this pandemic.
If enacted, the “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act” would provide states, localities, territories, and tribes with flexible resources to provide direct support to households in need with short- and medium-term rental assistance or to cover up to 6 months of back-rent and late fees. The funds may also be used to stabilize households by helping to address the cost of security deposits and utility deposits and payments, among other expenses.
Children and families struggling to make ends meet need more than just a one-time payment. Families need a larger and recurring monthly payment of $2,000 a month for every adult and child for the duration of the economic downturn. Families with children are disproportionately feeling the effects of this crisis. We all benefit when children and their families are fully supported.