Congress is returning from its Labor Day break this week with a number of key issues before it. In the coming days, Congress will make decisions on tax credits, child nutrition and cash assistance for needy families—votes that will directly impact families in Michigan.
In the midst of mid-term elections, the issue of which tax credits should be extended is receiving a great deal of attention. There are two tax credits directed at low- and middle-income families that were expanded under the Recovery Act to provide further tax relief.
Without action by Congress to extend these tax credits, many families in Michigan will receive smaller refunds during these difficult economic times.
Twenty-five organizations here in Michigan have called on our congressional delegation to extend the Recovery Act changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Making these credits permanent will encourage work and will help low- and middle-income families.
The U.S. House is also facing a vote on Child Nutrition Reauthorization. A bill pending before the House includes many important improvements to food programs for our children. These programs are a critical part of the safety net and provide vital resources to address child hunger.
A letter sent by 15 Michigan children’s advocates organizations calls on House members to support the House version of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The ill-advised Senate version funds the Child Nutrition Reauthorization with a future cut in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to low-income households. Raiding one food assistance program to fund another is not acceptable.
The Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund was created in 2009 as part of the Recovery Act. It has provided additional support to families here in Michigan during these challenging economic times. The fund, and its benefits, will expire at the end of September without action by Congress.
Understanding the ongoing need for the TANF Emergency Fund here in Michigan, 44 organizations have called on our Senators and our House members to extend this fund and its critically important benefits.
In the coming month, in particular, we will be looking to the Michigan Congressional Delegation to support policy and programs that will continue to assist Michigan families and will also help local and state economies.
— Karen Holcomb-Merrill