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The Coalition on Human Needs just released another edition of the Human Needs Report, with the latest on Congress’s spending and budget work, immigration proposals, gun control measures, and much more. Click here for a PDF version. 

Appropriations Work Continues as Congress Approaches March 23 Deadline
Appropriators continued negotiations through the weekend to try to complete a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year before the current funding runs out on March 23. House and Senate appropriators hope to complete work on an omnibus bill by March 14 to give Congress time to pass it before the deadline, but many obstacles remain. READ MORE »

FY19 Budget Planning Begins in the House
As part of the regular congressional budget development process, several House committees are making known their spending needs for programs under their jurisdiction for the coming fiscal year. There are also 12 budget-related hearings scheduled for this week, nine of them in the House. In addition, House and Senate leadership have appointed members to the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform called for in the Bipartisan Budget Act. 

Advocates Rally for Dream Act as DACA Deadline Slides
Advocates rallied in Washington, D.C. on March 4 and 5 to urge Congress to pass a clean Dream Act to provide a pathway to permanent residency and eventual citizenship for Dreamers, people who were brought to the U.S. as children. Their fate remains in limbo, as Congress has failed to enact legislation to protect them and cases challenging the end of the program make their way through the courts. READ MORE »

Changes May Make it Harder for Immigrants to Receive Assistance
The Trump administration is considering new rules that would make it harder for immigrants to come to or stay in the U.S. if they or anyone in their family – including their U.S. citizen children – use any number of public benefits they are legally entitled to, such as SNAP/food stamps or Head Start. Advocates believe these proposed rule changes to the “public charge” provisions of immigration law are a back door way for the Trump administration to restrict family immigration and deter families from securing critical services. READ MORE »

Gun Control Measures Disputed in Congress
Several gun control measures are being debated in Congress and with the White House following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. It is uncertain if any of these proposals have the 60 votes required to pass in the Senate, though there is some talk of trying to attach gun legislation to the must-pass omnibus spending package to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. READ MORE »

Supreme Court Hears Case Challenging Labor Unions
On Feb. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could adversely affect millions of working Americans. The case, Janus vs. AFSCME, centers on unions’ rights to collect “fair share” or “agency” fees from non-union members. Advocates believe a ruling against AFSCME would weaken unions, the democratic-making process in the workplace, and public sector middle-class jobs. READ MORE »

House Moves on Anti-Consumer, Pro-Payday Lender Legislation
In a blow to consumers, some in Congress are moving to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s payday lending rule which requires lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay a loan before one is made. The rule, put forth by the CFPB after five years of research and input, was put in place to curb the ability of payday and car title lenders to trap consumers in a cycle of debt. READ MORE »

The Human Needs Report is a regular newsletter on national policy issues affecting low-income and vulnerable populations from the Coalition on Human NeedsSign up to get the Human Needs Report delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to our blog, and follow CHN on Facebook and Twitter.

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