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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World applauds the passage of H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 and the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015. The organization urges President Obama to sign the bills into law.
“The passage of both the FY 2016 omnibus spending bill and the tax bill is a victory for working families and those who are struggling,” said David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “This legislation will make a real difference in the lives of millions of people, both in the U.S. and around the world. Lawmakers should be proud of their achievement.”
The tax bill makes permanent key improvements to the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the child tax credit (CTC). The EITC and CTC together lift more people out of poverty than any other program in the U.S. besides Social Security. Making the improvements permanent will prevent 16 million people from falling into or deeper into poverty. Bread for the World has been working to make these improvements permanent since 2010, and this bill represents a major victory for low-income working families.
The omnibus bill increases funding for children’s programs like Head Start, and provides alternative access to food during the summer months when school is not in session. The bill also increases funding for international food aid and maternal and child health and nutrition, and continued funding to build long-term agriculture sustainability.
Notably, the bill does not include a provision to increase subsidies to the world’s largest shipping companies to ship food aid. The provision could have resulted in up to 2 million people losing life-saving U.S. food aid while increasing transportation costs to taxpayers by $75 million.
“When lawmakers work together, good things can happen,” added Beckmann. “Making the earned income and child tax credit improvements permanent will prevent 16 million people from falling into or deeper into poverty. This is great news. We hope the bipartisanship continues into the coming year.”
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King
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