(Washington, DC, Friday, September 25, 2020) – The government’s annual poverty report – released this year seven months into the COVID pandemic – highlights the importance of federal assistance programs in helping people, who may or may not be directly impacted by the virus, stay out of poverty. The country is currently in a COVID-fueled recession. This has forced millions of Americans – including middle-income and working-class families – out of work, out of their homes, and onto brink of hunger and homelessness.
Amid both an ongoing pandemic and recession, the Trump administration continues trying to eliminate or weaken assistance programs that help struggling American families. And the Senate has been unable or unwilling to move a real COVID assistance bill.
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 – and staying out of – 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.