Issues Facing Congress
Several dozen temporary tax-expenditure provisions, collectively known as “tax extenders” because Congress routinely extends them, are set to expire again at year’s end. More such provisions expire at the end of 2014. Given the importance of addressing mid-term and long-term deficits, policymakers should make a firm commitment to pay for any extension of these provisions. Read more
Over a million unemployed Americans who have been looking for work for at least six months will receive no further federal jobless benefits after Christmas week if Congress does not renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which expires at the end of the year. Many more who lost their jobs more recently or will lose them in coming months will get no additional help in 2014 beyond their regular state-funded jobless benefits.
The premature turn towards budget austerity since 2010 has been a drag on economic growth and job creation. Extending EUC would help offset that drag as well as reduce hardship among jobless workers and their families. In contrast, letting EUC expire would increase hardship and cost the economy jobs. Read more
- More Than a Million Americans Will Lose Jobless Benefits at Year's End Without Congressional Action
- The November Jobs Report in Pictures
- Key Things to Know About Unemployment Insurance
- Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession
- Policy Basics: How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available?
- Policy Basics: Unemployment Insurance
Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) have said they intend to focus the recently started budget negotiations on replacing sequestration (in whole or in part) for the next year or two with alternative deficit-reduction measures.
An agreement to ease the sequestration cuts should reflect the following principles:
- Any relief from sequestration should be evenly split between defense and non-defense programs.
- The savings needed to replace sequestration should come from both spending cuts and revenues.
- Policymakers should design sequestration relief to help the still-struggling economy.
Related Chart Book: Deficit Reduction, the Economy, and the Budget Negotiations
More: Federal Budget Analyses
Hardship in America
As a House-Senate conference committee considers changes to SNAP as part of the Farm Bill, some critics have called for large SNAP cuts in part on the grounds that SNAP is growing out of control. But recent data show that that the spending growth has ended and that SNAP is following the pattern of previous recessions, as CBO and other experts expected. Read more
- Cuts in House Leadership SNAP Proposal Would Affect Millions of Low-Income Americans
- November 1 SNAP Cuts Will Affect Millions of Children, Seniors, and People With Disabilities
- SNAP Enrollment Remains High Because the Job Market Remains Weak
- Food Assistance analyses
New From the Center
December 4, 2013
Revised November 22, 2013
November 19, 2013
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Center in the News
A Season for Sales Taxes
The New York Times
December 10, 2013
The Disturbing Rise of Income Inequality in 3 Charts
U.S. News and World Report
December 6, 2013
The case for extending unemployment insurance, in one chart
The Washington Post