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Federal Issues

TANF at 25: Failing to Meet the Needs of WI Families

August 19, 2021 — On August 22 of this year, the law creating the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF) turns 25 years old, and that’s not a cause for celebration. At the national level and here in Wisconsin, TANF is serving only a small fraction of the families who are living in poverty and are eligible for assistance.

American Rescue Plan: Setting Wisconsin up for an Equitable Recovery

June 4, 2021 — The American Rescue Plan is a historic opportunity for Wisconsin to invest in an equitable economic recovery that leaves all communities better off. State and local lawmakers can use federal aid to help communities hit hardest by the pandemic and address the long-term inequities that have kept too many people of color, women, and those paid the lowest wages from reaching their potential. This factsheet includes categories of federal aid directed by the American Rescue Plan to Wisconsin state and local governments for which estimated dollar amounts are available, and selected categories of aid for which Wisconsin-specific amounts are not available.

A Few Weeks of Supplemental Unemployment Assistance Is No Substitute for Congressional Action

September 1, 2020 — Wisconsin has applied for the supplemental federal unemployment benefit recently authorized by executive actions taken by President Trump. Although the $300 per week supplemental payments will briefly provide some financial relief for thousands of Wisconsin families once the new program goes into effect, it will fall far short of the larger and longer-term supplemental assistance that expired in late July.

Federal Funding is Essential to Saving Wisconsin’s Economy and Public Services

July 14, 2020 — Without additional federal assistance, Wisconsin state and local governments will be forced to lay off teachers and other workers, cut important services like health care and education, and take other actions that would make the recession longer and more painful. These budget cuts would fall most heavily on families with low incomes and people of color, who have already been hit the hardest by the pandemic and the recession.

Amend the CARES Act So More Parents Receive Stimulus Checks

April 15, 2020 — The recently developed federal stimulus package known as the CARES Act put in place an unprecedented amount of financial support for many workers who filed taxes in the United States. However, some groups have been excluded from this stimulus effort and others will have to jump through extra hoops to receive their benefit. For example, lawmakers completely excluded immigrant workers without Social Security numbers — and their families — from receiving the benefit, and they also put administrative hurdles in the way of those who did not file taxes in recent years. Another group of people that will be denied full stimulus payments are parents, specifically parents who owe the government for child support.

Direct Stimulus Payments Would Deliver Quick Financial Assistance to Most, but Blocks Some Families from Receiving Aid

March 27, 2020 — The bipartisan economic response bill that has passed the U.S. House and the Senate would provide direct payments to Wisconsin residents, with the dual goals of helping people afford basic needs and stimulating the economy. The additional cash would be a welcome relief for families that are out of work or struggling to get by, but the provision delivers aid slowly to some, and blocks some immigrants from getting any aid at all.

The Threat of a Constitutional Convention to Enact a Balanced Budget Amendment

September 22, 2017 — A national effort is underway to pass state resolutions calling for a Constitutional convention to reduce the authority and powers of the federal government, including a balanced budget amendment. While the intended goals of this effort are to limit federal spending and bolster the U.S. economy, economists overwhelmingly believe a balanced budget amendment would weaken the economy, especially during economic downturns, and lead to severe spending cuts in key areas – such as education, social security, and healthcare.