News Round Up: May 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting low-income communities and exacerbating economic inequality across the country. Throughout this crisis, TCWF will compile news, legislation, and research on how tax credits and other income-boosting policies can provide much-needed relief for the hardest-hit communities:

Top Story: U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the “Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act,” which would provide a monthly $2,000 check to every working American with an income less than $120,000 a year. (Senator Kamala Harris)

  • U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), and Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01) urged their colleagues to expand the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) to dampen the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on child poverty rates. (The Hill)
  • Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, shared recommendations for strengthening working families’ economic security, including expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). (The Washington Post)
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) offered recommendations on how the next federal relief package can fill in the gaps of the CARES Act by including immigrants, older children, and college students in the next round of stimulus checks. (CBPP)
  • CBPP outlined specific expansions the federal government should make to the federal EITC and CTC ahead of the 2021 tax season to boost the economy and avoid spikes in poverty. These expansions include increasing the value of the EITC for workers without dependent children, making the CTC fully refundable, and allowing recipients to use their 2019 or 2020 tax returns to calculate their credit. (CBPP)
  • Cynthia Miller, an economist and senior fellow at MDRC, outlined why the EITC would be an effective piece of any plan to mitigate COVID-19’s burden on low-wage workers. (MDRC)
  • The Urban Institute’s new Health Reform Monitoring Survey found that 30 percent of adults are straining to meet basic needs and 41 percent of adults have reported loss in employment or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Urban Institute)