Poverty Scorecard
Rating members of congress

Budget and Tax

Each year, our elected officials adopt public budgets that detail the investments they have chosen to make in policies and programs that address poverty and provide opportunities for economic advancement. The federal budget establishes funding priorities for education support, job training, programs that support and enable work, legal services, services for people with disabilities, and enforcement of guarantees of civil rights and equal opportunity. For the past five years, spending on programs that assist low income people—such as child care, Head Start, federal support for low-income schools, job training, housing assistance and services for individuals experiencing homelessness and seniors—has been constrained by discretionary spending caps mandated by federal law.

Tax policy drives the revenue needed to support priorities established by the federal budget. Moreover, tax subsidies like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit provide significant assistance to low-income families and encourage work while reducing poverty. Through their decisions on budget and tax issues, members of Congress can support programs and policies that champion economic and racial justice.

Votes Related to Budget and Tax

S. 294—Lifting spending limits on programs that help low-income people: Passage of this legislation significantly increased federal spending limits on many programs that help low-income people. These limits, imposed by sequestration, have severely decreased spending on programs such as housing assistance and Head Start over the past five years. This bill provides the most significant relief from sequestration limits to date.

H. 275—Diverting funds from Legal Services: Adoption of this amendment would have diverted millions of dollars meant for the Legal Services Corporation to the FBI, starving this already underfunded program, which provides vital legal services to low-income people.

H. 579—Lifting spending limits on programs that help low-income people: Passage of this legislation significantly increased federal spending limits on many programs that help low-income people. These limits, imposed by sequestration, have severely decreased spending on programs such as housing assistance and Head Start over the past five years. This bill provides the most significant relief from sequestration limits to date.

H. 703—Making permanent key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit: The House and Senate passed legislation that made permanent key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. These two federal tax credits provide vital income boosts to millions of low-and moderate-income families. Making these provisions permanent constitutes one of the most important anti-poverty victories of the last 20 years.

S. 125—Making permanent key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit: The House and Senate passed legislation that made permanent key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. These two federal tax credits provide vital income boosts to millions of low-and moderate-income families. Making these provisions permanent constitutes one of the most important anti-poverty victories of the last 20 years.


Issues in focus:

Budget and Tax

Early Childhood

Education

Employment

Environment

Health Care

Higher Education

Housing

Immigration

Public Benefits