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The most recent blog posts and reports from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Updated: 17 min 11 sec ago

Mississippi Raises TANF Benefits But More Improvements Needed, Especially in South

Tue, 05/04/2021 - 10:11am
Mississippi, which for over 50 years provided the nation’s lowest cash assistance benefits to families with children, has increased the maximum Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant by $90, so a family of three with no other income will now receive $260 per month. The increase will help all children receiving TANF but especially Black children, who make up over three-fourths of Mississippi children receiving TANF. Though Mississippi has the nation’s highest child poverty rate, its TANF program does a particularly poor job of assisting families experiencing poverty. Prior to the
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

It’s Time for Housing Voucher Expansion

Mon, 05/03/2021 - 9:09am
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Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 04/30/2021 - 2:23pm
CBPP’s main focus this week was the announcement of President Biden’s proposed American Families Plan. CBPP President Sharon Parrott released a statement that the President’s recovery agenda is an ambitious plan to tackle big problems and a tweet thread discussing key provisions of the President’s recovery proposals. We also released other publications covering specific policy areas: On federal taxes, Chuck Marr tweeted that Congress needs to make the historic expansions to the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit permanent for an equitable recovery. Marr also tweeted about the
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rigid Limits on State Taxes and Spending Damage Families and Communities

Wed, 04/28/2021 - 4:37pm
The health and economic crisis due to COVID-19 calls for states to raise revenues and invest in communities, not set harmful, arbitrary limits on doing so, as some state lawmakers have proposed. The pandemic and resulting economic downturn have caused widespread hardship and hit state budgets hard. And while the American Rescue Plan provides significant help, states need to proactively respond to short- and long-term pressures by raising the resources needed to limit economic hardship for those most affected by the pandemic and advance equity-oriented, antiracist policies and public
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

White House, Ways and Means Paid Leave Plans Would Help Workers and Families

Wed, 04/28/2021 - 3:19pm
This week, both the White House and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal put forward ambitious plans to address major gaps in our caregiving infrastructure by creating a permanent, broad-based, comprehensive, and progressive paid family and medical leave program. The pandemic exposed these gaps in the nation’s system of paid leave, with millions of workers lacking access even to a single sick day — let alone longer-term leave for serious illnesses or to care for a family member. Policymakers responded by creating a temporary paid leave program in the spring of 2020, which
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Missing in the President’s Recovery Plans: Help for Families Struggling to Pay Rent

Wed, 04/28/2021 - 2:23pm
Millions of people with low incomes struggle to afford housing, which exposes them to overcrowding, homelessness, and other hardships and limits their ability to fully participate in the emerging recovery. These problems fall disproportionately on poorer households and, because of a long history of racism leading to unequal education, employment, and housing opportunities, on people of color. President Biden’s American Families Plan calls for important investments in areas such as education, child care, health care, and family-focused tax credits, but neither it nor prior Administration
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Parrott: President’s Recovery Agenda Is an Ambitious Plan to Tackle Big Problems

Wed, 04/28/2021 - 8:06am
The proposals constitute a ground-breaking agenda to move us toward an equitable economy and address problems that have plagued our nation for decades.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

An Opportunity to Make Summer Childhood Hunger History

Tue, 04/27/2021 - 5:41pm
This week, the Agriculture Department (USDA) implemented a measure in the American Rescue Plan Act that could transform our nation’s approach to feeding low-income children during the summer. Building on the successful Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program, for the first time, all low-income children will be eligible for grocery benefits to replace school meals while schools are closed for the summer. As policymakers seek to address long-standing problems and build toward an equitable recovery, they have a critical opportunity to ease summer food hardship by making these kinds of summer grocery
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Number of Families Struggling to Afford Food Rose Steeply in Pandemic and Remains High, Especially Among Children and Households of Color

Tue, 04/27/2021 - 3:48pm
The number of households having difficulty putting food on the table grew sharply over the past year due to COVID-19’s far-reaching health and economic impacts and remains high relative to pre-pandemic levels.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Subsidized Employment Must Be a Part of Any Recovery Package

Tue, 04/27/2021 - 12:06pm
Subsidized employment, a proven job placement tool for those facing the greatest employment barriers, should be a part of any legislative package to help the millions who remain out of work in the uneven economic recovery. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for a new subsidized employment program, and Congress should ensure robust funding for one in the recovery legislation they will consider soon. The job market is weaker than the unemployment rate suggests, and the pandemic has laid bare the economy’s systemic inequities. Workers of color, workers without a college degree, women, and
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Matching Data Across Benefit Programs Can Increase WIC Enrollment

Tue, 04/27/2021 - 10:02am
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Categories: Benefits, Poverty

A National Paid Leave Program Would Help Workers, Families

Tue, 04/27/2021 - 8:54am
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal policymakers created a temporary paid family and medical leave program in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which passed with strong bipartisan support. Though Families First limited benefits to COVID-19-related reasons and did not cover all workers, it recognized that workers need to be able to take time off to attend to their own health, the health of family members, and other caregiving responsibilities without losing their wages or jobs, and that employers’ voluntary efforts to provide paid leave are insufficient to protect public
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rental Assistance in Recovery Legislation Needed to Protect Children From Hardship and Help Build a More Equitable Future

Mon, 04/26/2021 - 10:28am
The COVID-19 crisis increased housing instability for millions of renters and further exposed the inadequacy of the country’s housing safety net, particularly for families with children. As policymakers consider recovery legislation, a top priority should be stronger, more equitable supports for children, including expanding vouchers to a larger share of families in need. Addressing the housing instability that families with low incomes faced even before the pandemic can create opportunity for all children and build toward a more equitable future. At the end of March 2021, renters who live
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 1:52pm
This week at CBPP, we focused on federal taxes, state budgets and taxes, health, food assistance, housing, poverty and inequality, and the economy. On federal taxes, Chuck Marr, Samantha Jacoby, Sam Washington, and George Fenton explained why asking the wealthiest households to pay a fairer amount in tax would help fund a more equitable recovery. We also illustrated how the American Rescue Plan’s expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit will benefit rural residents. On state budgets and taxes, Cortney Sanders, Michael Leachman, and Erica Williams updated their report
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rescue Plan’s Expansions of Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit Will Benefit Rural Residents

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 2:23pm
Rural communities — both nationally and in most states — will benefit disproportionately from the American Rescue Plan’s temporary expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Upcoming Recovery Legislation Can Make Lasting Progress Against Housing-Related Hardships

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 12:59pm
The recovery legislation that policymakers will craft in the coming month is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make real progress in addressing the nation’s most urgent housing problems, and they should make the most of it — including by providing multiyear, guaranteed funding to expand housing vouchers to many more low-income families, seniors, and others who are struggling to pay rent and make ends meet. The Administration’s 2022 discretionary budget request released on April 9 calls for 200,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers, which would increase voucher supply by approximately 9 percent
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

3 Principles for an Antiracist, Equitable State Response to COVID-19 — and a Stronger Recovery

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 9:00am
States have critical policy choices to make: they can exacerbate inequities and damage the economy, or they can set another course.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Asking Wealthiest Households to Pay Fairer Amount in Tax Would Help Fund a More Equitable Recovery

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 5:00am
To fund the investments that would help build a more equitable recovery, President Biden is expected to ask the wealthiest households to pay a fairer amount in federal taxes. With the nation’s income and wealth more and more concentrated at the top over the last several decades — including during COVID-19 and its economic fall-out — and the nation facing significant investment needs, policymakers should reconsider how the tax code treats the most well-off. The health and economic crises of the last year exposed glaring weaknesses in our economy and public policies that leave millions of people
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Expansion Cuts Hospitals’ Uncompensated Care Costs

Tue, 04/20/2021 - 9:13am
Recent research from Louisiana underscores how Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could dramatically reduce uncompensated care costs — the cost of providing health care that goes unpaid by patients or insurers — for states that have not yet expanded. Those cuts in costs would mirror other states’ experiences after expanding Medicaid and would reverse the relatively flat trends in hospitals’ uncompensated care costs nationwide. Uncompensated care costs as a share of hospital operating expenses rose in 2018 by 0.1 percentage points according to a recent report from the
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Broadening Marketplace Enrollment Periods Would Boost Access to Health Coverage

Mon, 04/19/2021 - 9:54am
Beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Administration should make additional, permanent changes to make it easier for more people to enroll in coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty