The latest from Capitol Hill on coronavirus and poverty


July 30th, 2020
This page will be regularly updated as Congress debates the next stage of the pandemic response. Check back for the latest. Posts by Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns, or Crickett Nicovich, Associate Director, Policy and Government Affairs, unless otherwise noted.

7:00 am, Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Senate proposal fails to help millions of families facing eviction or include the global health resources needed to fight the crisis

For millions, everything is riding on what Congress is doing right now. Over the next 1-2 weeks Congress will decide whether millions in the U.S. are evicted. Unfortunately, the Senate legislative proposal released last night fails to address these urgent needs – which is why we need to take action now, as policymakers meet to negotiate the contours of a final bill.

COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on families in the U.S. and those living in low-income countries. And while we’re looking for a solution to this global health pandemic, Congress must ensure that people in the U.S. and globally have what they need to make it through the crisis. Both the Majority and Minority Leadership in the Senate and House still have to come to a negotiating table on what’s next. We must call on the Senate and the House to take the right actions as they craft the next and potentially last COVID-19 bill. Here’s what’s at stake:

  • With millions of Americans still unemployed because of COVID-19, and temporary bans on evictions around the country about to expire, between 19 and 23 million Americans face a “housing cliff” – owing rent they are not able to pay. Millions could become homeless in the middle of a pandemic. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal known as the HEALS Act does not include any emergency rental assistance for the millions of unassisted households facing evictions and homelessness during the pandemic. RESULTS and other advocates continue to push for $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and a national moratorium on evictions in the final package.
  • Millions of families in the U.S. are struggling to put food on the table, with Black and Latino families facing particularly high food insecurity rates, yet the Senate bill does not boost SNAP benefits — which means we should continue to push policymakers to include a 15 percent boost in SNAP benefits in the final package.
  • Despite projections that the economic downturn will continue well into 2021, the Senate did not follow the House’s lead in proposing a temporary expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for low-income workers and families. We continue to push for these tax credit expansions in the final package.
  • The HEALS Act/ McConnell proposal does include $4.4 billion for foreign aid for global vaccine preparedness by calling for $3 billion in funding for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and another $1 billion for vaccine delivery. It is clear that without a vaccine, the world has no sustainable exit strategy from this global health crisis. But the current needs – including resources necessary for famine relief and additional support for underfunded health systems in lower-income countries – continue to compound. In low-income countries, hunger and malnutrition could double, at least 2 million preventable deaths could occur as a result of disrupted healthcare, and 100 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty. Action cannot wait until the next fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills move through Congress. Specifically, we support a designation of no less than $20 billion for foreign assistance in an emergency supplemental that includes:
    • $4 billion over two years for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria
    • $4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
    • $2 billion for global anti-hunger programs, with at least $500 million for nutrition

With congressional leaders and the White House beginning intense negotiations over a final package, we need to make our voices heard — we cannot allow the final bill to ignore the urgent needs of low-income families here and around the world. Please take one or both of the actions below and share it with friends:

  • Action to Support U.S. Renters. Use our online alert to call or e-mail Congress today to urge them to include $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and a national moratorium on evictions in the next COVID-19 response package.
  • Action to Support Those Made Vulnerable in Low-Income CountriesUse our online action to write, call, or Tweet to your senators and representative and urge them to include $20 billion in development assistance in the next COVID-19 response package.

We have just a week or two before Congress is expected to finalize this bill. Please take action now, and see our latest updates for more details and tools for your follow up with congressional offices and local media.

***

8:00 am, Monday, July 13, 2020

Window closing for Congress to craft a global response to the global pandemic & ensure U.S. renters remain stably housed

Ken Patterson, Director, Grassroots Impact What happens when Congress returns from the July recess will determine the fate of millions of people around the world and in the U.S. When Congress reconvenes, they’ll have a couple of weeks before the long August recess to arrest the decline of global health systems and keep U.S. renters from falling off a renter’s cliff, all due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We must tell Congress what’s at stake and call them into action now. If they don’t address these issues in July, it’s unlikely they’ll address them at all, as some congressional leaders have signaled that the next COVID supplemental could be the last one. The Situation Global health systems are overburdened as limited resources are diverted to address COVID-19—vaccination rates, TB case detection, and access to basic healthcare services are all down. There are alarming projections of increased deaths from treatable disease and malnutrition. And as COVID-19 takes a toll on healthcare systems, it is also negatively impacting economies, with projections that, without action, global hunger could double, and 70 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty. And in the U.S., 6.7 million cost-burdened households face evictions because of job loss if Congress does not take additional action. Mitigating the effects of COVID-19 requires continued congressional leadership and resources, but Congress has proven that they will not do all that is needed without your advocacy. We must insist that Congress directly addresses the global health crisis by investing in proven solutions and ensuring that COVID-19 doesn’t create a downward poverty spiral that sets the U.S. and the world back a decade or more. Here’s what we can do to ensure Congress does their job, not just for businesses, but for the people who are most at risk: Take Action Contact congressional offices directly and engage your action networks to call on your representatives and senators to speak to the leadership of their chambers on our global and U.S. requests. Global Request: Include a global response of at least $20 billion for development assistance in the next COVID-19 supplemental spending bill, and designate $10 billion of that be used as follows:
  • $4 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria
  • $4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
  • $2 billion for anti-hunger programs, with at lease $500 million for nutrition
There have been sign-on letters in the House (Frankel/Rooney, 125 signers) and Senate (Rubio/Cardin, 32 signers) in favor of a global response, so tailor your requests accordingly:
  • If your representative or senator signed a letter, thank them and ask them to also speak directly to leadership about a global response. Send them our detailed requests. Ask them to let you know if they will take this action.
  • If your representative or senator did not sign a letter, send them a copy of the final letter for their chamber (see letters above), and ask that they write their own similar letter and speak directly to leadership. Send them our detailed requests. Ask them to let you know if they will take either or both actions.
  • Use our Global Poverty July Action Sheet and online action to engage your action network to call, write, or contact Congress on social media in favor of a bold global response.
U.S. Request: Ask representatives and senators to speak to congressional leadership, calling on them to include $100 billion for emergency rental assistance and an eviction moratorium in the next COVID-19 supplemental spending bill, as the House did in the Heroes Act. Send them our detailed requests.
  • Use our US Poverty July Action Sheet and online action to engage your action network and community members to call, write, or contact Congress on social media in favor of renter relief and an eviction moratorium.
***

5:00 pm, Monday, May 18, 2020

House passes COVID-19 bill; use media to push Senate into action

On Friday, the House passed H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act, 208-199. This bill includes all of RESULTS’ U.S. poverty priorities for the next COVID-19 response bill (see below — we were disappointed at other components of the bill). In part because of your tireless advocacy over the past 2.5 months, the House bill includes $100 billion for emergency rental assistance, a one-year national moratorium on evictions, a 15 percent increase in the maximum SNAP benefit, and a temporary expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). The HEROES Act would also permit another round of direct payments ($1,200 per person) and provide much-needed funds to state and local governments. Unlike the CARES Act passed in March, HEROES would allow immigrant families who have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to receive cash payments. Unlike the House, the Senate is in no rush to pass another stimulus bill, despite a call from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for Congress to do more to avoid “long-term damage to the economy.” Although Senate leaders have no plans to take up the House bill, your media can help push senators to act now to pass their own bill that includes help for low-income Americans. TAKE ACTION: Help build momentum for Congress to prioritize low-income Americans by submitting letters to the editor urging Congress to pass a final COVID-19 bill that includes emergency rental assistance, a moratorium on evictions, and an increase in SNAP benefits. Use sample letters in the May 2020 U.S. Poverty Action to get started. If you’ve already submitted a letter, send another one this week to another paper in your area or state. If you need assistance, please contact Jos Linn. Once you get published, let us know and leverage your media by sending copies to your congressional offices and sharing it on social media. ***

4:30 pm, Friday, May 15, 2020

A Global Pandemic Requires a Global Response

There’s a lot in the new coronavirus bill introduced in the House of Representatives this week. But it has a gaping hole—the bill leaves out the whole rest of the world, with no new emergency funding to respond to coronavirus beyond the United States. This is inadequate, when many kids are already missing out on lifesaving vaccines, it’s getting harder to access treatment for diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and food insecurity and starvation are rising fast. A global problem requires a global response. Will you write a letter to the editor to let your Senators know it’s now up to them to make sure the U.S. does its part globally? The House bill will help millions of people stay housed and keep food on the table in the United States. But the emergency goes way beyond just this country, and our response needs to as well. It’s now up to the Senate to make sure that happens. Media Action: A Global Pandemic Needs a Global Response ***

2:30 pm, Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Your Advocacy is Making an Impact: House Proposal Includes Rental and Food Assistance

Your advocacy is working! Today, House leaders released their draft legislation for the next COVID-19 response. It includes the priorities we are seeking:
  • $100 billion for emergency rental assistance
  • A national moratorium on evictions for one year (from date of enactment)
  • A 15 percent increase in the maximum SNAP benefit from June 2020 through September 2021
In addition, the House proposal includes expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) – longtime RESULTS priorities – along with many other provisions. This could not come too soon. At the end of last week came the staggering news that unemployment in April was at nearly 15 percent, three times the level it was two months ago. As a result, millions of families are struggling to keep a roof over their head despite increased short-term unemployment benefits and cash payments — with rent payments down again this month. Congress has the power to help. Acting now can help us prevent a much worse situation down the road, not waiting around to “see what happens”, as some argue. The next COVID-19 bill will be harder to pass, and pass soon, than the previous bills. If we want that bill to include relief for renters and increased financial resources for families, we must persist. Use letters to the editor and direct advocacy this month to push them into action. Your direct advocacy with lawmakers and their staff this spring has made in impact. In 2020, RESULTS volunteers have already done 126 lobby meetings to discuss housing and other U.S. poverty issues. This is you building the political will for Congress to act. LOBBY ACTION: If there are congressional offices you have yet to meet with, continue scheduling meetings with representatives and senators and/or their staff. In your meetings, tell them to support $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, a national moratorium on evictions, a 15 percent increase in the maximum SNAP benefit, and an expansion of the EITC/CTC as outlined here. Use the April Action and our Lobbying page for background and materials. When you get a meeting scheduled, please let us know here and then contact RESULTS staff to help you get ready. After you’ve done your meeting, please let us know how it went by filling out the RESULTS Lobby Report Form. And, MEDIA ACTION: Submit letters to the editor urging Congress to assist low-income renters and hungry families in the next COVID-19 response, as included in the new House bill. The May 2020 U.S. Poverty Action has sample letters to get you started. Use the options provided to submit multiple letters. If you need assistance, please contact Jos Linn. Once you get published, remember to leverage your media by sending copies to your congressional offices and sharing it on social media. RESULTS volunteers have generated 81 media pieces on housing this year, with many more expected this month. And, we urge to you watch this racial equity conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Diane Yentel on May 21. On Thursday, May 21 at 2:30 pm ET, join Dr. Kendi, one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices, and Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, for a conversation on how our housing and homelessness response to COVID-19 must center racial equity and address systemic inequities and discrimination. Register here. ***

12:30 pm, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Call on Congress to Include Global Health and Education in the U.S. Emergency COVID-19 Response

As a leader in global health and development, the United States must urgently respond to contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect hard-fought gains in global health and education in low-income countries. Although the virus threatens near universal disruption, it’s the communities facing poverty, already pushed to the margins, that face the greatest risks. And it’s not just the direct effects of COVID-19 that are of concern. It’s the impact on other health services and education, and the toll COVID-19 will take on fragile economies. We are already seeing suspension of child vaccination programs, disruptions of drug supplies for fighting non-COVID-related diseases, and a spike in food insecurity and starvation. And new data released this week shows that with people cut off from tuberculosis testing and treatment during the pandemic, this disease of poverty will claim an additional 1.4 million lives in the coming years. As Congress considers additional emergency COVID-19 funding, we must urge support for the priorities below as part of a larger emergency international relief package of at least $12 billion. Protect the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria$1 billion
USAID Global Health – Tuberculosis$200 million, of which at least $35 million for the Global Drug Facility (GDF)
Invest in access to vaccines
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance$900 million
Protect the youngest and most vulnerable
USAID Basic Education$300 million, of which at least $50 million for the Global Partnership for Education
Food for Peace – Nutrition$200 million
USAID Global Health – Nutrition$50 million
UNICEF$325 million
Take Action:
  1. Use the RESULTS COVID-19 Policy Priorities document to ask your representative and senators to write and speak to House and Senate leadership, leadership of the full Appropriations Committee, and the leadership of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of Appropriations (SFOPS), requesting they include the above funding in the next COVID-19 response bill.
  2. Use the May 2020 Global Action Sheet & Outreach Guide and our online media action to generate media to encourage your representative and senators to take action #1. You can also use the May Action Sheet & Outreach Guide to engage your Action Network and other RESULTS supports in writing and submitting letters to the editor. Consider organizing a virtual letter to the editor writing training using these tools. Let staff know if you need help organizing the training.
***

11:00am, Monday, May 4, 2020

As Congress Returns, National Day of Action to Prioritize Housing Assistance

Join RESULTS and other advocates for a National Day of Action on Housing to tell Congress to prioritize low-income renters TODAY, May 4. ​It’s the start of the month and millions of low-income families are worried about paying the rent. With over 30 million people unemployed, we’re in a full-blown emergency. Take a few minutes to e-mail, call, or tweet at your representatives and senators urging them to include emergency rental assistance and a national eviction moratorium in upcoming COVID-19 bills. You can tailor our online message and, ideally, coordinate with fellow RESULTS advocates so that someone is communicating directly with the housing aide in your Senate and House offices. Our core ask is still that senators and representatives communicate support for $100 billion in emergency rental assistance plus a national eviction moratorium to Congressional leadership. You can find leave behinds, laser talks, etc to support this request in the lobbying section of our website. Ultimately, it is key that key negotiators hear from colleagues that these issues are important – and that there is bipartisan support for policies that prioritize low-income renters. In addition, you can ask them to cosponsor the “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act” if they haven’t already before it is introduced in the House and Senate. The lead sponsors of the bills (Senator Brown, Representatives Waters and Heck) have done some outreach, as have other housing advocates, to get initial cosponsors. I think the advocacy you have done with some of these offices made it an easy “yes” for them to agree to cosponsor. I will note that these are Democrat-only bills as of now, and think that including this ask only makes sense if reaching out to Democrats that have not yet cosponsored. Advocates heard more about the landscape in Congress on the RESULTS National Webinar this past Saturday guest speaker Senator Sherrod Brown. Sen. Brown affirmed the importance of RESULTS grassroots advocacy, and today’s Day of Action builds on RESULTS volunteer advocates’s virtual meetings with members of Congress about housing and hunger over the past few weeks, discussing the importance of including $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, a national eviction moratorium, and a 15 percent increase in SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) benefits in upcoming legislation. Your outreach on housing, along with other key priorities (see below), is key to make sure that these issues are a priority in upcoming negotiations.  ***

10:00am, Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Pushing Congress to Prioritize Food Assistance and Housing in Upcoming COVID Legislation

RESULTS groups have been busy meeting virtually with members of Congress about housing and hunger this month, discussing the importance of including $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, a national eviction moratorium, and a 15 percent increase in SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) benefits in upcoming legislation. They’ve been sharing a letter to Congressional leaders supporting SNAP signed by RESULTS and more than 750 organizations, including 53 of our local chapters, along with materials and requests to make the case for prioritizing policies that support low-income renters. We appreciate your great advocacy and we are inspired by your work! As a reminder, once you get a meeting, please contact RESULTS staff to help you get ready. After your meeting, please complete the RESULTS Lobby Report Form to let us know what happened. Meanwhile, members of Congress are still working on legislation to address the pandemic and economic crisis. Many members of the House of Representatives will return to DC this Thursday to pass a smaller package (“CARES 3.5”) focused on small businesses, hospitals, and testing. At the same time, policymakers are discussing larger package (“CARES 2.0” or “COVID 4/C4”) to take up later this spring. Your outreach on food assistance and housing, along with global health priorities (see below), is key to make sure that these issues are a priority in upcoming negotiations.  To raise the profile of food assistance, please join RESULTS and other hunger advocates today, April 22, for a National Day of Action on SNAP. Take five minutes to e-mail, call, or tweet at your representatives and senators urging them to include SNAP in the Phase 4 COVID-19 bill. Here is a message to tailor and send (ideally, coordinate with fellow RESULTS advocates so that someone is communicating directly with the Agriculture aide in your Senate and House offices): With 22 million people now unemployed, we’ve seen families line up for miles in order to pick up food. Families need help and they need it now. SNAP, formerly food stamps, is our primary defense against hunger and plays a critical role in feeding children while schools are closed. Not only does it keep families fed, increasing SNAP benefits will provide a needed financial boost to our struggling economy. In the next COVID-19 bill, please work with Congressional leaders to include a 15 percent increase in the SNAP maximum benefit, increase the minimum SNAP benefit to $30; and suspend all administrative rules that would terminate or cut SNAP benefits.  You can cut and paste this message into a personal e-mail or use our online alert to contact your members of Congress. Please share this alert with people you know. And, keep generating housing/SNAP media. Submit your letter to the editor today urging Congress to prioritize housing and hunger in the next COVID-19 bill. Use our online LTE action to get started (and let us know when you get published). Also, amplify that media by sharing tomorrow during a #SNAPMatters Day of Action Twitterstorm this Wednesday from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT. Learn more about the Day of Action via FRAC and see Feeding America’s #SNAPMatters Digital Toolkit. ***

4:30 pm, Thursday, April 16,2020

Supporting the Global Fund’s Response to COVID-19

As we’ve tracked the policy efforts to provide rental relief and nutrition benefits for those in the U.S. hardest hit by the economic implications of this pandemic, RESULTS is also tracking the global response to this health crisis that is putting so many in low-income countries at even greater risk. We’ve heard from partners that:
  • Mosquito bednet distribution campaigns to prevent malaria are at risk of being cancelled in nearly 20 countries, just as the malaria season is about to begin in West Africa. 
  • Reporting of tuberculosis cases in India has plummeted by 80 percent as laboratory capacity and health care workers are mustered to respond to COVID-19. 
  • People living with HIV/AIDS who rely on anti-retrovirals to survive are threatened by interruption of their drug supply. 
Today RESULTS staff joined a call with the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to hear about their efforts to strengthen their infectious disease programs to respond to these critical health needs. The Global Fund is providing fast, flexible funding to countries to support the direct response to COVID-19 and to shore up existing health programs. One thing is for sure: we cannot hit pause on the fight against the pandemics of HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria while we fight COVID-19.   Congress is debating its next pandemic response bill right now. As part of that bill, RESULTS will be weighing in on several global health priorities and asking for no less than $12 billion for the humanitarian and global health efforts as part of the foreign aid response to COVID-19.  More on that soon! But right now – Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Martha Roby (R-AL) are leading a Bipartisan Dear Colleague Letter to House Leadership supporting $1 billion for the Global Fund’s response to COVID-19 in the next supplemental bill. We urge you to reach out directly to your foreign policy staffers to ask for your Members of Congress to join Reps. Lee and Roby on this critical issue.  More information can be found in the ACTION ALERT HERE.  ***

5:00pm, Thursday, April 9, 2020

From Across the Country, RESULTS and More Than 750 Organizations Call on Congress to Prioritize Food Assistance

Working with fellow members of the National Anti-Hunger Organizations, yesterday afternoon more than 750 organizations, including RESULTS as a national group and 53 of our local chapters, sent a letter to Congressional leaders and the Administration outlining shared priorities for strengthening food assistance via SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) — including a 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits. While it is not clear when Congress will take up a next legislative package, nutrition assistance is a top priority for some key Congressional leaders — and this letter helps reaffirm the broad support for SNAP. In addition, this week 140 Representatives sent a letter urging House and Senate leaders to incorporate a boost on SNAP benefits in upcoming COVID-19 stimulus packages. We’ve added the organization sign-on letter to the resources on our Lobbying page along with sample meeting requests, updated leave behinds, and much more. This is a critical time to get to Congress to make the case for housing and nutrition policies! Use the April 2020 U.S. Poverty Action for strategic actions you can take. Once you get a meeting, please contact RESULTS staff to help you get ready. And don’t forget to generate media to amplify your requests by getting media published in your local papers urging Congress to prioritize housing and food assistance in any new stimulus legislation and beyond. Use our updated online letter to the editor action to submit a letter today. ***

5:00pm, Tuesday, April 7, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of strong global health systems

As the world faces its most significant global pandemic threat in a century, the United States must urgently respond to contain and mitigate the global spread of COVID-19 and protect hard-fought gains in global health in low-income countries. Although the virus threatens near universal disruption, it’s the communities facing poverty and already pushed to the margins that face the greatest risks. The challenge of meeting global resource requirements will be heightened by the toll of COVID-19 on countries’ economies. Sub-Saharan Africa may be particularly vulnerable. The majority of countries rated “least prepared” to respond by the Global Health Security Index are in Africa. While a warmer and more humid climate, a younger population, and more recent and relevant experience confronting epidemics may prove to be protective factors, there are many challenges that may exacerbate the toll of COVID-19. These include:
  • Higher rates of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malnutrition, and other serious underlying conditions;
  • Difficulty implementing social distancing in crowded urban settings;
  • Lack of access to clean water and sanitation
  • Critical shortages of health workers; and
  • Limited capacity to detect and treat COVID-19 patients. Kenya, for example, has just 155 intensive care beds in public hospitals in a country of 50 million people.
An urgent concern is not just the direct toll from COVID-19, but the impact on other disease efforts as health workers mobilize to confront COVID-19. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, there were over 10,000 additional deaths from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and up to 16,000 additional deaths from measles as 1 million children missed out on vaccinations for the disease. We are particularly concerned about the interaction between COVID-19 and tuberculosis. People with TB may be more likely to get sick with COVID-19, and many of the resources required to fight TB — lab capacity for diagnosis, health care workers to do contact tracing — will need to be marshalled to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the impacts on health, there is widespread disruption of education. More than 90 percent of the world’s students are affected by school closures. Existing disparities in access to quality education will be exacerbated as schools close or attempt to implement distance learning. As Congress develops a Phase 4 legislative package, we’ll be urging policy-makers to prioritize poor and marginalized communities by:
  1. Supporting low-income countries and communities to respond to COVID-19, building on the progress we’ve made in global health.
  2. Ensuring other health programs that address diseases of poverty are not undermined by the COVID-19 response.
  3. Addressing the non-health impacts of the pandemic, particularly access to quality education and other areas that disproportionately affect the poor.
Your media is the best way right now to get that message to Congress. Make your voice heard today. Media Action: Urge Congress to invest in global health ***

11:00am, Tuesday, April 7, 2020

New Analysis Shows Emergency Rental Assistance Needs

Last Saturday, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof spoke to hundreds of RESULTS volunteers and allies on our April National Webinar. He talked about the importance of advocacy in the fight against poverty and said that what makes RESULTS stand out is that we don’t just send e-mails or sign petitions, we also actively work to build relationships with member of Congress. He knows, as do we, that relationships are what create change. This month, Congress is on recess and they need to hear from you. Make sure you submit requests for virtual lobby meetings ASAP. Use the April 2020 U.S. Poverty Action for guidance and visit our Lobbying page for sample meeting requests, updated leave behinds, and much more. As mentioned on Saturday, researchers were working to analyze the exact needs related to emergency rental assistance that you can bring to those meetings. Today the National Low Income Housing Coalition put out an analysis of the rental assistance needs – we’ll be including an “ask” for $100 billion in emergency rental assistance based on this data. And I think this is an important point: while expanded unemployment insurance in the CARES Act is vital for renters losing their jobs, it’s insufficient on its own to keep the lowest-income families stably housed during the crisis. Of course, a reminder: more resources for emergency rental assistance should be coupled with a national eviction moratorium. For more on how those two interplay with each other, see our Hunger Fellow Alexa Angelo’s excellent blogpost. If you need guidance on planning a virtual lobby meeting, join our Planning Virtual Lobby Meetings training tomorrow at 3:00 pm ET (or listen to a recording of the same training from last week). Once you get a meeting, please contact RESULTS staff to help you get ready. And don’t forget to generate media to amplify your requests. To bolster your meetings with lawmakers in April, work to get media published in your local papers urging Congress to prioritize housing in any new stimulus legislation and beyond. Getting published adds to your credibility in meetings with lawmakers. Use our updated online letter to the editor action to submit a letter today. We’re grateful for all of you; I hope you are staying healthy. ***

3:30pm, Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Get to Congress to Ensure Upcoming Legislation Includes Emergency Rental Assistance and More

Thank you to everyone who contacted their members of Congress over the last two weeks about the COVID-19 stimulus bill. Your advocacy made an impact. The final bill includes significant investments in housing and homelessness assistance for low-income Americans. This will provide much-needed relief for Americans struggling to put or keep a roof over their heads during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, there is still more to be done. The economic impact of the crisis is far from over. Congressional leaders are already talking of another COVID-19 bill later this spring. By getting virtual lobby meetings in April, you can push lawmakers to fill the gaps that were not addressed in the Phase III bill passed last week, including tens of billions in emergency rental assistance, a national eviction moratorium, and increased nutrition assistance. Your April virtual lobby meetings with members of Congress and their staff are excellent opportunities for new people to get involved. Here’s what to do:
  1. Set up virtual lobby meetings with members of Congress to discuss housing and COVID-19. You can tailor our Lobby Meeting Request and once you get a meeting scheduled, contact [email protected] to set up a lobby prep call to get you ready.
  2. Join our “Planning Virtual Lobby Meetings with Members of Congress” training on April 1 at 8:30pm ET. Join each webinar at https://results.zoom.us/j/390106571 or dial into (669) 900-6833 or (929) 436-2866, meeting ID 390 106 571. This training will be posted on our website if you miss it.
  3. Schedule time to plan your meeting and invite new people to join your lobby meeting planning session (perhaps right after Saturday’s webinar). Find lobbying materials here.
  4. Generate media to amplify your requests. To bolster your meetings with lawmakers in April, work to get media published in your local papers urging Congress to prioritize housing in any new stimulus legislation and beyond. Getting published adds to your credibility in meetings with lawmakers. Use our updated online letter to the editor action to submit a letter today.
  5. Tell us how your RESULTS lobby meeting went.
Want to dive in deeper on the policy front? On Wednesday, April 1 at 2:00 pm ET, Mazon will host the “This Is Hunger: Calls for Action” webinar with Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11) highlighting the impact of the coronavirus on hunger in the U.S. Then on Friday, April 3 at 2:00 pm ET, the Coalition on Human Needs will host the “Congress and COVID-19: What passed and what comes next” webinar to help mobilize advocates into action for the next COVID-19 response. Add to your advocacy knowledge by joining these important webinars. Finally, join RESULTS National Webinar this Saturday, April 4 at 1:00 pm ET via Facebook Live with New York Times columnist & author, Nicholas Kristof, who’ll be sharing his thoughts on how the coronavirus pandemic will affect people living in poverty & where we can look to for hope. This is also an opportunity to understand the intersections between COVID-19 and race. The coronavirus outbreak has laid bare the economic inequities in our country, including ones long divided by race. To understand this better, the Center for American Progress has new resources on COVID-19’s impact on communities of color and the racial wealth gap. In addition, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has a new paper on race-forward economic policy as a result of COVID-19. ***

2:00pm, Friday, March 27, 2020

Coronavirus stimulus bill passes, but there’s still work to do

Your advocacy has helped millions. The emergency economic stimulus passed by the House this afternoon via voice vote and approved by the Senate 96-0 late Wednesday night is on its way to the president for signature. This $2 trillion in economic relief package includes $4 billion to address the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness via Emergency Solutions Grants (“ESG”), an estimate $12 billion in overall for housing that includes resources for families struggling to pay rent, laid off from work, and denied access to health care. Over $1 billion was included in the bill for the International Affairs budget, including some support for the global response to coronavirus in disaster areas and within migrant and refugee populations. Additional funding was included for the Center’s for Disease Control to strengthen the health response both at home and internationally. Your meetings, phone calls, and e-mails made sure lawmakers focused on helping low-income Americans weather this crisis. But there is much work to be done, and a lot left out of this package. The health and economic impact of the virus is far from over and many more will need help in the U.S. and globally. Write a letter to the editor today to help make sure they get it. Congress is already talking of another bill later this spring. The communities already pushed to the margins still face the greatest risks in this pandemic, both in the U.S. and globally. We can make sure that people experiencing poverty are a priority in the next response. Your media is the best way right now to get that message to Congress. Make your voice heard today. Media Action: Ask Congress to help low-income renters Media Action: Urge Congress to invest in global health ***

11:00am, Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Final Senate Deal Includes Billions for Housing, Looking Ahead

Good morning, amazing advocates! As you have probably heard, in the middle of the night Senate leaders finalized a stimulus package that will be considered by both chambers today. The bottom line: it includes billions in additional funding for the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness and other resources that can be used to help low-income renters — which, through your tenacious advocacy over the past week and longer, you (and others) helped make happen. Given the scale of our pre-existing affordable housing crisis – which disproportionately impacts people of color – we will need to keep raising our voices to influence the next (“Phase 4”) package this spring along with building momentum more broadly for broad policy solutions including a refundable renters’ credit. So, what is in the deal in front of Congress today? What’s next? Congress is expected to pass this package in the next day or two, and then leave for a prolonged recess. There is growing conversation about the next “Phase 4” package and we will need to influence that — with bold policy proposals (see below) on the table. While you may not be able to meet with members of Congress in person, continue to request virtual lobby meetings – and consider joining our training on Wednesday, April 1 at 8:30 pm ET on how to schedule and plan a virtual lobby meeting with congressional offices. Join each webinar at https://results.zoom.us/j/390106571 or dial by phone at (929) 436-2866 or (669) 900-6833, meeting ID 390 106 571. And don’t forget that media can also play a huge role in shaping these debatesread more on our blog, which links to updated templates for letters-to-the-editor. ***

9:00pm, Monday, March 23, 2020

Home Stretch: Make Sure Congress Prioritizes Housing and Other Needs of Lowest-Income Families

Last night and again this afternoon Senate votes to move forward on a partisan COVID package failed, though policymakers are negotiating over a potential bipartisan package in the Senate. Meanwhile, House leaders just released their package (see summary and full bill, along with this helpful side-by-side from our friends at NLIHC). It is not clear if the House will take up a Senate-passed package or move forward with their own. With things moving fast, it is still critical that we raise our voices with decisionmakers! My quick tweak of an email you could send to Congressional staff: “Hi _____, this is ____ from RESULTS. I know this is a busy time, but with the latest proposals out, I want to reiterate our support for at least $15.5 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants to address the housing and health needs of people experiencing homelessness who are at the greatest risk of an outbreak (the Senate GOP proposal has $4 billion), along with a national moratorium on evictions and substantial resources for emergency rental assistance (along the lines of the bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act, S. 3030). Will you please urge Sen./Rep. ____ to speak to leadership and urge them to include these provisions in the final “Phase III” bill?” The House proposal includes some important provisions — which, in part, reflect the work over the past week (and longer, in some cases!) to raise our voices for bold housing and tax policies that can help address this current crisis and help reduce racial wealth inequality. Notably, the House includes substantial resources for the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness and housing instability along with other key provisions, including:
  • $15.5 billion in homeless assistance via Emergency Solutions Grants (“ESG”)
  • $100 billion for emergency rental assistance
  • National moratorium on evictions
  • $1,500 per person in “Economic assistance payments” up to $7,500 for a family of five. This payment is structured differently than the Senate proposal, making it easier for people with disabilities, low-income seniors, and immigrant/mixed status families to receive the stimulus.
  • Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers who do not claim children .
  • Expansion of the Child Tax Credit, including making it fully refundable for families who currently make too little to receive the full credit.
It is exciting to see these proposals on the table — whether or not they get enacted this week. And as noted in this Washington Post piece, “Renters tend to have lower incomes than their homeowner counterparts and cannot tap into the equity in their homes for a credit line it in case of an emergency. And a disproportionate number of renters are African American, Hispanic and other minorities.” Kudos to many RESULTS advocates and others who laid the groundwork for these proposals! ***

9:00pm, Sunday, March 22, 2020

Senate Proposal Includes Some Funding for Housing Assistance

Tonight the Senate vote to move forward on a partisan COVID package failed. It is worth noting the Senate GOP proposal included some substantial resources for the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness and housing instability, including:
  • $4 billion in homeless assistance via Emergency Solutions Grants (“ESG”), but worth noting that researchers say $15.5 billion at least needed (see below)
  • $1.25 billion to maintain existing federal housing assistance (Section 8, eg Housing Choice Vouchers), plus $1 billion to maintain Project Based Rental Assistance
  • $10 billion in community development funding (CDBG), which can be used for housing
Good to see some major resources on the table – and I think your great work has helped make that happen – but the scale of the needs are such that we should push for more. There were substantial changes to the original Senate proposal that theoretically expands cash payments to the lowest income families, etc), but given that stimulus payments require a tax return, tens of millions of people — low-income households and low-income seniors and people with disabilities who receive SSI, plus immigrants who file taxes with an ITIN — won’t get the payments. ***

7:00am, Sunday, March 22, 2020

Deal Close but Not Done, Must Make Sure Congress Prioritizes Housing and Other Needs of Lowest-Income Families

Happy Sunday morning! A quick update and call to action – give this a read and consider what quick actions you can take with your morning coffee. Senate negotiators are working hard to finalize a bipartisan economic package and reports indicate they are close to agreement on a number of components. But reports indicate they have not finalized the $1.8 trillion deal – with policies that are crucial for the lowest-income Americans in the balance. While Senate leadership has taken the lead in crafting the package so far, today leaders from both chambers will meet and therefore we should keep up the pressure with all of our members of Congress and urge them to weigh in with their leadership. Yesterday I shared a link to a new assessment of the funds needed to prevent an outbreak among homeless populations via the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. Since yesterday’s post wasn’t clear (apologies), based on the work of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, and Boston University, we have joined others in to increase our funding recommendation for the amount to $15.5 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants to address the housing and health needs of people experiencing homelessness who are at the greatest risk of an outbreak. Please include this along with a request for a national moratorium on evictions and emergency rental assistance (along the lines of the bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act) in follow up with Congressional staff.  Another key piece is the design of cash stimulus payments – and ensuring that the lowest-income families actually receive them. Consider reading and sharing this piece by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities with Congressional staff this morning, and urge them to prioritize stimulus payments that can quickly help low-income Americans. We are grateful for all of you. ***

8:00am, Saturday, March 21, 2020

Still Time to Ensure Housing is a Priority in Fast-Moving Negotiations

A quick Saturday morning update on Senate negotiations: a bipartisan group of Senate leaders spent most of yesterday meeting to hammer out details of a large economic stimulus package. They adjourned late last night and reportedly will meet again at 10:30 am today. According to press accounts, they have reached some consensus on certain components of the plan. After pushback from a variety of policymakers across the political spectrum, there is now more agreement that low-income Americans should get the full value of potential cash stimulus payments (here a helpful chart showing the different proposals). A quick note: while some have described these as tax credits (since the value might be based on 2018 tax returns), they are more temporary stimulus payments – and RESULTS supports both immediate and full value cash payments targeted at low-income families AND expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit as part of longer-term economic policies to help rebuild the economy. What hasn’t been mentioned yet as part of the bipartisan Senate negotiations? Housing assistance focused on low-income renters and resources for people experiencing homelessness, despite the tremendous need. A new report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness indicates that $11.5 billion is needed ASAP to address the immediate needs of shelters working with those experiencing homelessness in this pandemic. As you sip your weekend coffee or other favorite beverage, consider using this as an excuse to circle back yet again to housing staffers with new information – here is sample text you can adapt for your direct emails. We remain deeply concerned that none of the COVID-19 bills passed so far, nor Sen. McConnell’s proposal, include provisions to help people experiencing homelessness and those in already unstable housing situations. A new report out yesterday shows that $11.5 billion alone is needed to support the homelessness providers who are facing unprecedented challenges in meeting their imperative to keep people safe during this crisis. Will you please urge Sen./Rep. ____ to speak to leadership and urge them to include the following provisions in the final “Phase III” bill?
  • $5 billion in Emergency Solution Grant (ESG) funds can help local communities minimize the number of people living in homeless encampments and identify space, including hotels, for isolation and self-quarantine
  • Another $5 billion to prevent people from becoming homeless by providing short-term financial assistance and housing stabilization services.
  • Enact a national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions to help renters and homeowners remain stably housed during and after a Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Help with rental assistance and eviction prevention (along the lines of the bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act). Low-income renters – living in federally assisted housing or otherwise – will need emergency rental assistance to ensure that they can remain housed during this crisis and not face evictions, and in worst cases, homelessness.
If you are checking e-mail and have a moment, can you let me know what your office is pushing as priorities for this deal – and, in particular, confirm that you are including housing resources in your communication? Thank you. ***

9:00pm, Thursday, March 19, 2020

Senate Proposal Leaves Out Resources for Housing and Homelessness

As some might have seen, this evening Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) unveiled his economic stimulus proposal. Unfortunately, there are NO resources for housing or people experiencing homelessness (despite the dire needs and a history of bipartisan support for housing) in this $1 trillion package. Clearly, we need to send a strong message to policymakers that any package include key housing and homelessness priorities, including:
  • Allocate $5 billion in Emergency Solution Grant (ESG) funds can help local communities minimize the number of people living in homeless encampments and identify space, including hotels, for isolation and self-quarantine
  • Another $5 billion to prevent people from becoming homeless by providing short-term financial assistance and housing stabilization services.
  • Enact a national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions to help renters and homeowners remain stably housed during and after a Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Help with rental assistance and eviction prevention. Low-income renters – living in federally assisted housing or otherwise – will need emergency rental assistance to ensure that they can remain housed during this crisis and not face evictions, and in worst cases, homelessness.
This is a great excuse to circle back to key housing staff ASAP – ideally, shoot off a quick email with the above bullets by Friday midday. These talking points are also included in our online e-mail action alert and you can amplify this message in local media by tailoring our letter-to-the-editor template. In addition, the stimulus cash payments – up to $1,200 for individuals/$2,400 for families – leave out the very lowest income Americans and “millions of low- & moderate-income households significantly less than those who are better off” (check out this helpful visual). We must not ignore those that were already struggling to put food on the table or keep a roof over their heads – and it is economically shortsighted to ignore the lowest-income Americans when their spending has the most direct impact on local economies. Many RESULTS volunteers are familiar, based on your amazing work over the years in support of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, with tax and other policies that are not targeted strategically to create opportunities for low-income workers and families – but it appears we need to keep reminding policymakers about the importance of economic policies that prioritize the lowest-income Americans. If you have time, please consider sharing your great media on the EITC and CTC from last year with Congressional staff, urging them to include needed cash payments to people living near or below the poverty line – and, if appropriate, include expansions of the EITC and CTC since other tax provisions are on the table. ***

10:00am, Thursday, March 19, 2020

Keep Up the Pressure to Prioritize Housing as Things Move Quickly in Congress

As millions are reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic, there is growing awareness that low-income families and people experiencing homelessness are amongst those most affected. As Alison Eisinger of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness noted earlier this week, “deep-seated poverty, growing housing insecurity – and the federal government’s flat-footed response to the quickly-spreading virus – are making a bad situation worse.” Last night the president signed a $105 billion package (“Phase 2”) after it passed the Senate 90-8 vote. While this package includes some important provisions including food assistance (see below), policymakers have not yet increased resources for people experiencing homelessness, low-income renters who are already spending a large portion of their income on housing without savings to rely on, or the organizations working to address community needs. Today Senate leaders are expected to unveil their “Phase 3” economic stimulus package, while others have put forward proposals to address the housing needs of the crisis. Last night House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) proposed a plan that includes billions for emergency homeless assistance, eviction/foreclosure moratoriums, and rental assistance. Congressional action is needed – for example, while the administration has moved forward some measures to suspend foreclosures and evictions of renters in public housing, and many local governments have called for eviction moratoriums, we need bolder action. Negotiations are moving quickly – which means we need to keep circling back to members of Congress to prioritize housing policies and other measures for low-income families. See below or our updated online action alert for talking points for calls or e-mails. Public pressure is also key – and this gives us a chance to amplify this message in local media. After you’ve touched base with Congressional offices, please consider tailoring our letter-to-the-editor template to put some media pressure on Congress. This legislation could be finalized in the next few days, but a flood of media tomorrow or over the weekend can help shape the debate. ***

12:00pm, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A Big Emergency Package MUST Include Housing Priorities

As policymakers rush to enact a large-scale economic stimulus package (“Phase 3”), we need to push for robust resources to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness and housing instability in any legislative response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is critical that Congressional staff hear from constituents — here are some key provisions to emphasize in your emails or calls:
  • Allocate $5 billion in Emergency Solution Grant (ESG) funds can help local communities minimize the number of people living in homeless encampments and identify space, including hotels, for isolation and self-quarantine, and another $5 billion to prevent people from becoming homeless by providing short-term financial assistance and housing stabilization services.
  • Enact a national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions to help renters and homeowners remain stably housed during and after a Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Help with rental assistance and eviction prevention. Low-income renters – living in federally assisted housing or otherwise – will need emergency rental assistance to ensure that they can remain housed during this crisis and not face evictions, and in worst cases, homelessness.
  • Emergency funds for public housing and other HUD housing providers. Additional funds are needed to ensure that public housing agencies and HUD housing providers have the resources to keep residents safe and healthy during this crisis.
For those wanting to learn more, NLIHC is hosting a webinar, “NLIHC 2020 Policy Priorities,” today, March 18, at 2:00 p.m. ET. We should use this as an organizing moment and ask others to amplify this request — share our updated online action alert to call or e-mail your message today. ***

5:00pm, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Keep Up the Pressure: Congress Must Address Immediate Housing and Health Needs of People Experiencing Homelessness and Low-Income Renters in Coronavirus Response

Having a hard time keeping track of the policy responses to the pandemic? You aren’t alone — things are moving quickly. A quick recap of the legislative packages:
  1. Congress passed an $8 billion spending package, focused on health investments, and the president signed it into law on March 8.
  2. The House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 13, and this afternoon Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he expects the Senate to pass an amended version shortly. This bill includes nutrition policies, some paid leave provisions, and a partial boost to federal Medicaid dollars.
  3. Congressional leaders are discussing a third very large emergency economic package. Since the previous two packages do not include any resources for providers working with people experiencing homelessness or other policies focused on low-income renters, it is critical that robust funding for housing programs are included in this package, along with a national moratorium on evictions (as called for today by Senators Brown and Feinstein) and other measures. This package may also be an opportunity to include important resources for USAID for a global health response.
Since policymakers are working at “warp speed” on the “COVID Phase 3” legislation, we need to keep up the pressure. See below for strategic actions you can take — Congressional leaders need to hear from their colleagues that this is critical! ***

11:00am, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Raising Our Voices and Organizing Others to Tell Congress to Support Housing and Homelessness Policies

Here in Washington, policymakers are moving legislation to protect millions who are impacted directly or indirectly by the coronavirus pandemic – and things are moving quickly. Congress must include investments in housing assistance, including resources for people experiencing homelessness, emergency assistance for low-income renters, and a moratorium on evictions. RESULTS just sent out an action alert urging our network to contact senators and representatives telling them to prioritize housing and homelessness in any new virus response legislation, which I urge you to share with people you know. Also, we hope those of you with relationships with key aides will reach out via email directly. You can amplify that message by tailoring our letter-to-the-editor template. Where things stand now: The House of Representatives passed a legislative package last weekend (see below), which was changed yesterday after negotiations with the Trump Administration (advocates are deeply concerned about changes made to paid leave on Monday night). Unfortunately, the House-passed version does not include any resources to address homelessness or other key housing policies – which is why your calls and emails to Congress urging them to include resources for people experiencing homelessness or facing eviction are key. The House’s measures designed to help state administrators support families via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with children who normally receive school meals, suspend time limits on SNAP eligibility for unemployed and underemployed individuals, and other emergency food assistance remain intact. It is unclear whether senators will pass the amended House package or add pieces from a potential “Phase 3” package this week. No matter what the package looks like, we must ensure Congress addresses the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness and those facing evictions, including specific measures via NLIHC’s recommendations: Yesterday, over 2,000 organizers, advocates, reporters, and legislative staff attended a call organized by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition to learn about the most pressing needs for homeless and housing-insecure individuals. You can find a recording of the call and up-to-date news and resources on NLIHC’s website. on zoom: As these negotiations continue, we also want to flag other key provisions to address the economic impact of the crisis that RESULTS supports:
  • A large boost in SNAP and other food assistance benefits.
  • Targeted cash payments for low-income workers and families, perhaps linked to the Earned Income Tax Credit. For more on this, see Using The EITC To Help Fight An Economic Slowdown by the Tax Policy Center’s Elaine Maag in Forbes. Yesterday, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) recommended a $1,000 cash payment for each American adult; this is a concept that others including Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA-17) and Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) have put forward.
  • Additional Medicaid resources for states, including funding for home and community-based services, with a focus on the home care and direct support workforce.
In addition, the faith community will be hosting a webinar for grassroots folks about the coronavirus outbreak this Wednesday, March 18 at 11 am. The webinar will update people on what is happening in Washington and what people of faith can do. We’re fortunate to have an amazing lineup of speakers: Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Sharif Aly, and Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune. You can register to participate in the webinar via Zoom or watch live via Facebook.

***

3:00pm, Monday, March 16, 2020

Negotiations Underway — Tell Congress to Support Housing and Homelessness Policies

As Politico reports, policymakers are already negotiating potential economic stimulus provisions while we await action on the COVID package passed by the House last weekend (below). This is a critical time for Congress to prioritize investments in housing assistance, including resources for people experiencing homelessness. The Senate Democratic proposal includes emergency rental assistance (along the lines of the bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act) and a moratorium on evictions. TAKE ACTION: Tell your representatives and senators to address the housing and health needs of America’s lowest-income renters and people experiencing homelessness who are at the greatest risk in the coronavirus pandemic. And then amplify that message using our letter-to-the-editor template.

***

8:00am, Saturday, March 14, 2020

House Passes Emergency COVID Package, More Must Be Done

The House of Representatives passed an emergency package early this morning 363-40. While there are important provisions to address immediate nutrition program needs, paid leave, and approximately $36 billion in federal Medicaid assistance to the states, there are no provisions or additional funding to address the specific needs of people experiencing homelessness along with other housing measures including a moratorium on evictions. The Senate is expected to take up this package next week and the president has indicated he will sign it into law. Meanwhile, negotiations are underway about further measures to address the economic impact of the pandemic, short and long-term. We hope Congress will move quickly to invest in policies for  people experiencing homelessness and housing instability, along with other key measures. Look for more from the RESULTS staff on this and our broader response on Monday, and hope others will join this National Low-Income Housing Coalition webinar Monday afternoon. For more, see the Coalition on Human Needs blogpost and action alert about calling senators to support the compromise package passed by the House, along with CHN’s list of needed policies and FRAC website’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) section. And, some good news:  this evening the DC District Court yesterday granted a nationwide injunction blocking the SNAP ABAWD rule (for more on this and other Administration threats, see our blogpost) from taking effect April 1! Some provisions will move forward, but it’s great news. Here are quick articles from The Hill and NPR.
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