Summary of RESULTS U.S. Campaigns for 2013

RESULTS works to find the "trimtab" campaigns that will make a substantial difference in breaking the cycle of poverty in the United States while simultaneously ensuring that our small but very engaged grassroots network makes a strategic impact. In 2013, RESULTS U.S.-poverty focused groups and activists are focused on these primary campaigns:

Campaign

Goal

Key Ask for Policymakers

Status/Time Frame

Protect Key Nutrition and Health Programs in Deficit Reduction

Ensure that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), Medicaid, and child health and nutrition programs are protected from cuts or restructuring in deficit reduction.

Oppose any cuts to the SNAP, Medicaid, and other nutrition and health programs in deficit reduction and/or the final Farm Bill.

Support a bipartisan, balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes revenues and protects critical investments in fighting hunger.

Download our 2013 Nutrition Request Sheet.

In January 2014, Farm Bill negotiators released their final Farm Bill proposal, which included $8.6 billion in cuts to SNAP. These cuts mainly impact “Heat and Eat” programs in 15 states, which use heating assistance to help increase SNAP benefits. The cut would deter this practice, resulting in 850,000 households losing an average of $90 per month in SNAP benefits.

The House passed the bill 251-166 on January 29 and the Senate passed it 68-32 on February 4. President Obama signed it into law on February 7. RESULTS opposed the bill because of the cuts to SNAP but we are also very grateful to our volunteers for their hard work in protecting SNAP from the much deeper cuts proposed by the House. Without their advocacy, the damage to SNAP would have been a whole lot worseRESULTS volunteers played a critical role in pushing back on proposals that would have gutted SNAP and removed millions off the program. In particular:

  • RESULTS volunteers met face-to-face with 83 members of Congress to educate them about the impact of cutting SNAP, and discussed SNAP with hundreds of Congressional staff.
  • RESULTS volunteers generated 143 media pieces, demonstrating broad support for SNAP. In particular, we believe the media backlash against the extreme House proposal was critical in getting to final legislation that does not kick anyone off the program.

On September 19, the House passed H.R. 3102, which denies food assistance for 3.8 million Americans, by a vote 217-210. House and Senate conference committee members will meet to negotiate a final Farm Bill this Fall. RESULTS will continue to urge Congress to work to protect and strengthen SNAP in any final Farm Bill or other legislation.

On June 20, the House defeated its Agriculture Committee's Farm Bill 234-195. The bill included almost $21 billion in cuts over 10 years to SNAP, which could have forced 2 million people off the program and denied 210,000 low-income children free school meals. The Senate passed its Farm Bill (S.954) on June 10 with a bipartisan vote of 66 to 27. It includes $4.1 billion in cuts to SNAP. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced an amendment to restore the SNAP cuts during debate but it was defeated 70-26. Amendments to deepen the cuts were also defeated.

The current extension of the Farm Bill expires in September 2013, though funding for SNAP is permanently reauthorized. SNAP benefits are already scheduled to decrease in November 2013 as the temporary benefit increase under the Recovery Act expires.

For more details, updates, and actions you can take to protect SNAP, see our Recent Developments in Nutrition and Health Policies page.

Using Tax Policy to Create Opportunities to Move from Poverty to Prosperity

Ensure that low-income Americans continue to have access to vital income supports such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and working to enact asset building strategies, including the Financial Security Credit (FSC).

Protect the EITC and CTC from cuts or changes in deficit reduction efforts and work to make recent improvements to the tax credits permanent.

Imbed asset building policies such as the FSC in tax reform legislation.

Support a bipartisan, balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes revenues.

Download our 2013 Tax Policy Request Sheet.

At the start of 2013, RESULTS other major campaign was focused on using tax policy to create economic opportunity. In January 2013, Congress passed the “fiscal cliff” deal extending the 2009 improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for another five years. Many believed that Congress would seek another deficit reduction “grand bargain” or attempt to enact comprehensive tax reform in 2013, which would put these credits at risk once again. Tax reform also offers an opportunity to enact legislation to support asset-building for low-income families. Many RESULTS volunteers discussed the opportunities to create economic opportunity in tax reform, especially with members of tax-writing committees and their staff. Hundreds of RESULTS advocates and allies met with dozens of senators and over 200 House offices to discuss tax reform priorities, including meetings during our International Conference the week that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) set a deadline for input about tax reform from their colleagues.

Ultimately, Congress did not move forward on comprehensive tax reform in 2013 and, given the threats to SNAP, we opted to put less emphasis on our economic opportunity campaign in 2013. In the fall of 2013, House leaders abandoned efforts to enact comprehensive tax reform before the 2014 elections. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) unveiled a proposal for business tax reform but no further action was taken. Sen. Baucus was appointed Ambassador to China in February 2014.

In the House:  Rep. DeLauro (D-CT-3) introduced the Child Tax Credit Permanency Act of 2013 (H.R.769), which makes the 2009 improvements to the Child Tax Credit Permanent.   Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA-1) has introduced a bill, the Earned Income Tax Credit Improvement and Simplification Act of 2013 (H.R.2116), which makes the 2009 improvements to the EITC permanent and expands the credit for single workers without children.  Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY-15) introduced the Financial Security Credit Act of 2013 (H.R.2917).  This bill would utilize the opportunity of tax time to encourage and reward savings for low income tax filers.

In the Senate: Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2013 (S.836), which would make the 2009 expansions to the EITC and CTC permanent. 

For more details, updates, and actions you can take to protect the EITC and CTC, see our Recent Developments in Economic Opportunity page.

Early Childhood Development: Smart Investments in the Early Years

Ensure that low-income families continue to have access to quality early childhood services, in particular Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care assistance.

Note: RESULTS’ early childhood work will be on a targeted, as-needed basis in 2013.

Fund Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) at the highest possible levels in FY 2014 and restore the cuts created by sequestration.

Support a bipartisan, balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes revenues and protects critical investments in early childhood.

Download our 2013 Early Childhood Request Sheet.

In January 2014, Congress passed a bi-partisan $1.1 trillion budget for FY 2014. The deal was very good for Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care assistance. Head Start got a $1.025 billion increase ($500 million for Early Head Start); this is a 13.5 percent increase for a FY 2014 total allocation of $8.6 billion. Essentially, this undoes sequestration for Head Start/Early Head Start. In addition, the Child Care Development Block Grant got a $154 million increase for a total allocation of $2.3 billion. RESULTS applauds congressional leaders for recognizing the importance of early childhood investments and for taking steps to mitigate the damage of sequestration on early childhood programs.

Senate Appropriations Committee passed a Labor HHS bill that included new funding for Early Childhood Education programs. Head Start, Early Head Start gets a $1.6 billion increase ($1.4 billion for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships and $171 million for Head Start cost of living and recompetition costs).  Child Care Development Block Grant gets $176 million increase ($110 million for new quality improvements available to every state).  $750 million for state pre-school development grants to help expand pre-school to all low- and moderate-income children. We are still waiting for a House mark up.

Sequestration (automatic five percent cuts) began March 1. Congress passed a FY 2013 Continuing Resolution in March (Senate: 73-26; House: 318-109) that includes an additional $50 million for child care and a $33.5 million increase for Head Start (the goal was an $825 million increase for child care and a $325 million increase for Head Start. Despite that, 57,000 low-income children have seen Head Start services eliminated because sequestration that began in March. This is a loss of 1.3 million school days and laying off or cutting pay for 18,000 Head Start staff.

Congress is expected to pass a short-term Continuing Resolution, and will not determind funding levels for early learning programs (and whether to replace sequestration) for FY 2014 until later this Fall.

For more details, updates, and actions you can take to protect Head Start and child care, see our Recent Developments in Early Childhood Development Policies page.

Empowering Grassroots Activists: Grassroots Health and Expansion

Work to expand our grassroots reach and impact by adding new RESULTS groups and volunteers around the country. Specifically, our goal is 33 active RESULTS U.S. Poverty groups and 200 active volunteers in 31 states by the end of 2013.

Key action for RESULTS volunteers/allies: urge contacts to sign up for our Action Network and attend an upcoming RESULTS Introductory Call.

At the end of 2013, we had 214 active U.S. Poverty-focused volunteers in 34 groups that cover 27 states. In 2013, we added 8 new groups to our U.S. Poverty network.

Our work to expand RESULTS’ reach and impact in the grassroots is an ongoing and yearlong process.

 

 

You can read thorough summaries of our 20122011, 2010 and 2009 U.S. poverty campaigns on our website, as well as other RESULTS successes over the previous decades.