(Washington D.C., Thursday, September 12, 2019) –  The government’s latest poverty report highlights the importance of federal assistance programs in helping people out of poverty. While the U.S. economy has improved the lives of millions of American, others – especially middle-income and working-class families – are not seeing the same benefits or are unable to lift themselves out of poverty.  The growing talk of a recession could mean hardship for these low-income Americans.

Last year’s data, released by U.S. Census Bureau, showed that 40 million people lived in poverty in 2017. The new report, one of the most important released annually by the government, includes data for 2018.

Amid these statistics, and while fears of a recession grow, the Trump administration continues to propose ways to eliminate or weaken assistance programs that help struggling American families.

Federal assistance programs like refundable tax credits (such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) play important roles in preventing people from falling into poverty.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, opportunity, and environmental stewardship. Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL fields an expert team of lobbyists on Capitol Hill and works with a grassroots network of thousands of people to advocate for peace and justice. FCNL is a nonpartisan organization with a long and trusted record of working across political divides to achieve positive change

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