The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Senate GOP Response to Pandemic, Recession Is Seriously Inadequate

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 4:11pm

The Senate Republican proposal for a third bill to address the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis is woefully inadequate to meet the extraordinary challenges now facing the nation. Its centerpiece — direct cash payments to households — would miss the lowest-income households entirely and give millions of low- and moderate-income households much less than those who are better off.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

USDA, States Must Act Swiftly to Deliver Food Assistance Allowed by Families First Act

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 11:36am

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides broad flexibility for USDA and states to adapt SNAP to address people’s food needs during the current public health emergency.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Some States Much Better Prepared Than Others for Recession

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 5:38pm

States don’t have much control over the depth of an economic downturn, but they do have control over state policies to prepare for and respond to recessions.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Agencies Should Prioritize New Applications, Continuity of Coverage During COVID-19 Emergency

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 3:01pm

States facing increased demands on their Medicaid programs due to COVID-19 should prioritize enrolling people in Medicaid and making sure they can stay enrolled. The new Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires states to take some steps in this direction, but they can and should do more.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Commentary: Deficit and Debt Shouldn’t Factor Into Coronavirus Recession Response

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 1:41pm

Given the magnitude of the crisis, now is not the time for policymakers to worry about raising deficits and debt as they consider what steps to take.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Immediate and Robust Policy Response Needed in Face of Grave Risks to the Economy

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 10:39am

An aggressive policy response is essential to mitigate the sharp drop in economic activity and increase in unemployment that are already underway.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Families First Will Strengthen States’ Ability to Address Rising Food Needs

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 10:18am

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act — which the House passed, and the President is expected to sign — will give states broad, temporary flexibility and authority to supplement and modify SNAP (food stamps) and other nutrition programs during the current public health emergency.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Governors’ Coronavirus Plans Must Protect Nutrition for Pregnant Women, Young Children

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 9:18am

Governors can use the flexibility that the pending Families First Coronavirus Response Act would give them to ensure that WIC benefits remain accessible even if COVID-19 concerns keep WIC clinics closed or parents away. The bill, already passed by the House, is expected to be enacted this week.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Coronavirus Response Should Include Urgent Fiscal Policy Measures to Address Financial Hardship, Stave Off a Severe Recession

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 5:39pm

Congress should move quickly to take further bold steps to achieve the dual and related aims of lessening the threat of a major recession and cushioning the financial blow for millions of Americans.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 4:46pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on the economy, the federal budget, state budgets and taxes, federal taxes, health, and food assistance.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Funding Boost for States Can’t Wait

Thu, 03/12/2020 - 6:52pm

The House COVID-19 bill’s temporary Medicaid funding boost, if in effect for all of calendar year 2020, would deliver roughly $45 billion in immediate, needed relief to states, which will face growing costs due to the virus and a likely economic downturn.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

GAO: 2017 Tax Law Creating New Compliance Challenges for IRS

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 2:18pm

The already overburdened IRS “may face challenges ensuring compliance” with certain parts of the 2017 tax law, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report finds, particularly the 20 percent deduction for certain “pass-through” business income. That’s one more reason why policymakers should boost funding for IRS enforcement and operations to offset nearly a decade of significant budget and staffing cuts.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Far Better Ways Than Payroll Tax Cut to Contain Virus’s Economic Damage

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 5:29pm

The threat of a COVID-19 pandemic demands not only an aggressive public health response to contain and treat the virus’s health impacts, but also an aggressive fiscal policy response to try to avert a major recession, which is now a distinct possibility.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Trump’s 2021 Budget Would Cut $1.6 Trillion From Low-Income Programs

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 2:17pm

The Trump Administration’s budget plan for fiscal year 2021 mirrors its budgets of the last two years in the massive cuts it proposes for core public services that help struggling households afford the basics and access health care.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Should Support Struggling Families through EITCs

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 9:55am

Governors and lawmakers in numerous states have proposed creating or expanding state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) this year. By approving these proposals, states can build on the federal EITC’s well-documented, long-term benefits for children while improving racial and gender equity and thus the nation’s economic prospects.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 2:48pm

This week at CBPP, we focused on health, food assistance, the federal budget, family income support, and the economy.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Trump Budget Seeks Deep Non-Defense Appropriations Cuts, in Break With Bipartisan Agreement

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 2:03pm

This budget category supports veterans’ medical care, aid to education, environmental protection, low-income housing, scientific research, infrastructure, public health, national parks, justice and law enforcement, and job training.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Trump Administration Inviting Medicaid Block Grants, Undermining Access to Behavioral Health Care

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 10:22am

The Trump Administration’s new guidance inviting states to apply for federal waivers to convert their Medicaid programs for adults into block grants — with capped federal funding and new authority to cut coverage and benefits — would put coverage and access to

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Boost TANF to Reduce Deep Poverty Among Children

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 4:56pm

The share of children of color living in deep poverty (below half the poverty line) rose in the decade after a 1996 law created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and weakened other anti-poverty programs, my colleagues have found. TANF, which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), has deteriorated since then, as we’ve detailed in recent papers on TANF’s spending, benefit levels, and reach to families in poverty.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Court Hearing Suit to Block Trump Rule Ending Food Assistance for Nearly 700,000

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:22pm

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will hear arguments tomorrow on a lawsuit to stop a new Trump Administration rule that would eliminate food assistance for nearly 700,000 low-income adults, according to the Administration’s own estimate.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

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