The Coalition on Human Needs just released the latest edition of the Human Needs Report, a regular newsletter on national policy affecting low-income and vulnerable populations. Read on for articles on the House and Senate tax cut bills, year-end spending deals, disaster aid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, policies hurting immigrant communities, and more.
Click here for a PDF version of the Human Needs Report.
House Tax Cut Bill Heads Towards Floor Vote; Senate Releases its Version
The House is expected to vote on its tax cut bill the week of Nov. 13, just as the Senate Finance Committee takes up its vision for tax cuts. While certain provisions differ between the bills, both would give trillions of dollars in tax cuts, disproportionately to the wealthy and big corporations, and add nearly $1.5 trillion to the debt in 10 years. Here’s what is known so far about the Senate plan, and how it compares to the House bill. READ MORE »
Year-end Spending Deal Still in Limbo
With the government set to run out of money on Dec. 8, members of Congress have yet to reach a deal to keep the lights on. The Senate still hasn’t voted on its versions of any of the 12 required spending bills, and Congress has yet to come to an agreement on topline spending levels for FY18, which began October 1. While some options are on the table, the threat of a shutdown looms. READ MORE »
Disaster Aid for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Others on Hold Until December
Months after hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, and Florida, the need for additional funding to help these communities rebuild is still great. The Trump administration is expected to send another request to Congress the week of Nov. 13 for supplemental aid for these and other areas hit by natural disasters, but the bill is not expected to pass Congress until December.READ MORE »
House Passes Children’s Health Bill
On November 3, the House passed a bill to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and several other health-related programs. Funding for CHIP expired on September 30, though states have been able to keep operations going thus far. But advocates are concerned that provisions to pay for this funding would interrupt coverage and harm beneficiaries. READ MORE »
ACA Open Enrollment Begins
Open enrollment for insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces began November 1. This year, the open enrollment period will end on December 15; the 6-week sign-up period is half of the time allowed in previous years. The Trump administration has also cut advertising spending for open enrollment by 90 percent from last year, and cut the budget for the navigator program by 41 percent. READ MORE »
Immigrants Hurt by a Lack of a DACA Deal, a Decision by DHS, and the Tax Cut Bills
Immigrant communities have been hit hard by a number of policy changes in recent months. The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that the Temporary Protected Status designation for 2,500 Nicaraguans will be terminated in January. Provisions in the House and Senate tax cuts bills would harm immigrant families and children. And Congress and President Trump still have yet to agree upon a legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. READ MORE »
Congress Repeals Rule to Help Consumers Fight Back
Consumer advocates celebrated in July when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a rule to ensure that consumers could challenge big banks in court. The rule would prohibit consumer financial services contracts from having forced arbitration clauses that ban class action lawsuits. The celebration was short-lived, however, as Congress recently voted to repeal the rule. READ MORE »