U.S. Poverty Weekly Update December 9, 2014
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | December 9, 2014
“Where is the support for the working poor?”
— RESULTS Johnson County (IA) volunteer Laura Lage in a December 6 letter to the editor in the Iowa City Press-Citizen
New and Urgent in This Week's Update
Latest from Washington, DC
Quick Action for the Week: Tell Congress to Put EITC and CTC Families First!
It’s hard to believe we are already at the end of 2014. To reflect on this past year and look forward to 2015, plan to attend the December 2014 RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call this Saturday, December 13 at 12:30 pm ET. On this month’s call, we’ll update you on the latest from Congress, review your successes over the last year, and look ahead as we get ready for 2015. This month’s call will be a celebration, reflection, and call to action – all rolled into one. Please plan to join us on Saturday.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to remind your local RESULTS group about the RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call this Saturday, December 13 at 12:30 pm ET. Coordinate with your group where you will meet for the call. To join the call, dial (888) 409-6709 and once connected to the operator, ask for the RESULTS National Conference Call. Plan to call in no later than 12:27 pm ET to give time to the operator to connect you with the call.
We will have the December 2014 Conference Call Overview slides available later this week. You will find them on the RESULTS Home Page in the “Take Action” box in the top right-hand corner.
Got Ten Minutes? Call Tax Aides and Express Your Frustration at Congress Ignoring the EITC and CTC (December Action)
Congress is still reeling somewhat from the Thanksgiving circus around the recently-deceased tax extenders bill. To review, right before the holiday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH-8) cut a deal to permanently extend and expand some corporate tax breaks, costing hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. Glaringly absent from this deal was a permanent extension of the 2009 improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). Because of this unfairness, President Obama vowed to veto the bill if it passed, essentially killing it. It looks like Congress will now pass a one-year tax extenders bill (through tax year 2014) before adjourning for the year.
With corporate profits at an all-time high while average wages remain stagnant, it is baffling and ridiculous that Congress would make giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations its top priority. RESULTS is grateful to President Obama, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) stood up for EITC and CTC families when the deal was announced. It is disconcerting that many members of Congress who have professed support for the EITC and CTC remained silent and likely would have voted yes on the bill.
This month, we urge you to call the tax aides in your House and Senate offices, expressing your frustration with what almost happened and reiterating your support of the EITC and CTC. Their bosses need to know that people back home are not happy that low-income families are again being ignored. To help you in your conversations, the Brookings Institution has released new data highlighting how the EITC impacts your county. Send a clear message to Congress that when they come back next year, your representatives and senators should oppose any tax bill that fails to permanently extend the 2009 EITC and CTC improvements.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes call the tax aide in your House and Senate offices and urge them to tell their bosses to stand behind working families who receive the EITC and CTC. Tell them you are very frustrated that Congress continues to put the needs of corporations and business ahead of children and families. It’s high time they put working people first. Each group should designate one person to call an aide. You can find the names of tax aides under the Staff tab on our Elected Officials page. The December Action has talking points and background information to help you with your calls and be sure to share the new county EITC data when speaking to them. If you have questions about the action or your calls, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) or Jos Linn ([email protected]).
Additional Action for Groups and Action Networks: For those in your group not calling an aide, take a few minutes to reinforce our message by sending an e-mail to your members of Congress about protecting the EITC and CTC. For your Action Networks, simply copy and paste this blurb into an e-mail and send it to them this week:
Last month Congressional leaders tried to push forward a tax package that would have made a number of business tax credits permanent while leaving low-income families in the cold. This deal fell apart, but it was a reminder that we have to keep the pressure on members of Congress to protect Americans struggling in poverty. Join me using the RESULTS online alert to tell Congress to make protecting low-income working families who get the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) a priority.
With a new Congress beginning in January and new leadership in the Senate, 2015 promises to be a year full of opportunities and challenges in your advocacy work with RESULTS. To get an idea of what to expect, please join RESULTS Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns Meredith Dodson and RESULTS U.S. Poverty Grassroots Manager Jos Linn this Wednesday for a webinar discussion about the 2015 RESULTS U.S. Poverty Campaigns. We will review our work in 2014 and overview the likely areas of focus for next year. Because we value your input and ideas, please plan to join this important discussion.
TAKE ACTION: Take sixty minutes to join the 2015 RESULTS U.S. Poverty Campaigns webinar this Wednesday, December 10 at 9:00pm ET. To join the webinar, go to: http://fuze.me/27163130. If you cannot join us online, you can also participate by phone: dial (201) 479-4595 and enter passcode 27163130#.
On December 11, spending on many federal programs will end. Most federal agencies have been operating under a “continuing resolution” (CR) since fiscal year 2015 began on October 1, which has continued funding for them at the same levels as FY 2014. That CR expires on Thursday. If Congress does not reach a deal on FY 2015 spending by that time, the federal government will shut down. Congressional leaders are working hard to avoid that. They are hesitant to repeat the shutdown debacle of 2013, which saw congressional approval ratings drop even lower than they already were.
Based on the latest news, it appears negotiators are close to a deal that would fund all federal agencies through September 30, 2015, except the Department of Homeland Security. DHS’s funding would run through early next year. This move is in response to President Obama’s recent actions on immigration (immigration enforcement is overseen by DHS). Congressional Republicans want temporary funding for DHS so they can pressure the President to possibly undo some of his immigration actions when Republicans control both the House and Senate next year. If a deal is reached, the House plans to vote on it on Thursday. If it passes, it will quickly move to the Senate. There are some Republicans in the Senate who might object and try to filibuster the deal, but it’s unclear how much support they have. If and when the spending bill passes, the House and Senate will adjourn until January. Stay tuned to see what happens.
In the meantime, show your support for early childhood programs (which would be funded in this bill) by sending an e-mail to Congress telling them to fund Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care at appropriate levels in 2015. In addition, tomorrow (December 10) starting at 8:15 am ET, the White House will host the White House Summit on Early Education to highlight the state of early learning in America and why new investments are needed. You can watch the summit online at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.
Congratulations! Last week, we highlighted the 18 media pieces published in November by RESULTS volunteers around the country. Evidently, that was just the beginning. We know have nine more letters to report, including three letters from the RESULTS Johnson County group in only four days! Here is a list of our newest letters:
Congratulations to you all! This is amazing work. Your media outreach is reminding Congress each day that low-income Americans matter. Please remember to send links to your letters to the tax aides you speak to this month. They need to know the power you have in bringing these issues to light in your community.
TAKE ACTION: Keep the media pressure on. Use the November Action or our online e-mail alert to send a letter to the editor to your local paper today, telling your members of Congress to make the 2009 improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent. You can find media outlets in our Media Guide. Once you do get published, be sure to send a copy of your letter to the tax aides for your members of Congress. If you need help with your letter, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].
Are you new to RESULTS? Or perhaps you have a friend you want to get involved? If so, register for the next RESULTS Introductory Call. Our 30-45 minute Intro Calls are a great introduction to RESULTS and can help you and others get involved with our work. There are only two Intro Calls left in 2014; tomorrow, December 10 at 9:00 pm ET and Friday, December 19 at 1:00 pm ET. Give someone you know (or yourself) the gift of RESULTS this holiday season – register an Intro Call today!
Also, the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents will be having their final support call of 2014 next week. Free Agents are great advocates taking action each month who happen to live in an area with no active RESULTS U.S. Poverty group. We meet each month to review recent actions, get updates on legislation we are following, and talk about upcoming actions to take. If you are taking action alone in your community and would like support from others like you and staff, please join the Free Agents group. Our next calls are next Tuesday, December 16 at 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET (attend the call that is convenient for you). The call-in number is (857) 232-0476, passcode 703096. If you have questions about the Free Agents group, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].
Read Powerful Piece about Witness to Hunger Angela Sutton. Many of you may remember the powerful personal story Angela “Nike” Sutton told us at the 2013 RESULTS International Conference about her struggles a single mom living in poverty. This month, Angela’s story is being highlighted in The Notebook, a publication from the Philadelphia Public School system. Like her presentation at our conference, Angela’s story is a sobering and inspiring reminder of why we do the work we do. If not for the programs and services that all of us advocate for, including Angela as one of the Witnesses to Hunger, she and others like her would face greater and unnecessary hardships. Share her story with others you know.
This is the season of giving and we hope you will include RESULTS and/or RESULTS Educational Fund in your year-end giving plans. Your financial contribution makes possible all the work we do and allows us to support you in being the great advocates you are. And this is a great time to give. Through a generous donation, all donations made until the end of this year will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. This gives you the chance to double your financial impact. Our Donation page makes it quick and easy to do. Please give to RESULTS today!
Contact Grassroots Board Members with Your Questions. If you have questions or suggestions for the RESULTS Board, please contact Grassroots Board Member Lydia Pendley at [email protected].
Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House and Senate: 113th Congress will adjourn sometime in December. Request face-to-face meetings.
Wednesday, December 10: RESULTS Introductory Call, 9:00 pm ET. Register at: https://results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/#Introductory%20Call.
Friday, December 12: RESULTS group start meeting in Ypsilanti, MI, 5:00 pm ET. For more details, contact Meredith Dodson at [email protected].
Tuesday, December 16: U.S. Poverty Free Agents Call, 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET. (857) 232-0476, passcode 703096.
Thursday, December 25 – Thursday, January 1: All RESULTS offices closed for holiday break. Note that the RESULTS U.S. Poverty Staff will be off December 20 – January 4.
Saturday, July 18 – Tuesday, July 21, 2015: RESULTS International Conference, Washington Court Hotel, Washington, DC. Details coming soon!
Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1101 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:
The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Update is sent out every Tuesday via email to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our U.S. poverty campaigns.