Did we go over the Fiscal Cliff? A quick federal update…
The 2013 Arizona Legislature convened on Monday and Governor Brewer gave her State of the State address. CAA will be analyzing the Governor’s budget when it is released on Friday and will let you know how kids fare in her plan for FY14.
Before things start to heat up at the state capitol, CAA thought you would be interested in a quick federal wrap up after all of the frenzy about the Fiscal Cliff. Most importantly, Congress and the White House did come to an agreement over taxes, keeping our country from falling over the cliff. Click here to read more detail by the Center on Buget and Policy Priorities.
In December, we asked you to contact your U.S. senators and congressperson to ask them to protect the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) from federal cuts. These programs – which lifted nearly half a million Arizona children out of poverty since 2009 – were slated to be cut as part of the Fiscal Cliff. Fortunately, Congress came together to vote to protect EITC and CTC in the tax bill that was passed on January 1, 2013. Senators McCain and Kyl both voted yes but Arizona’s House members were divided. Click here to see how your Congressman voted on the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
Among other good news
– The federal emergency unemployment insurance benefits were extended for another year.
– The Protect Our Kids Act of 2012 passed on January 2nd. This Act creates a two-year, bi-partisan Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. The commission will recommend a comprehensive national strategy to reduce and prevent child deaths as a result of abuse and neglect.
The January 2nd vote on the Fiscal Cliff did not resolve major fiscal issues looming in DC. Instead, the 112th Congress “kicked the can down the road” on raising the national debt ceiling and avoiding the automatic and massive federal budget cuts in defense and human services, known as sequestration. Both of those votes need to take place in March so the new Congress has a lot of work ahead of them.
Children’s Action Alliance will keep you up-to-date on federal developments and let you know when your message to your new Arizona delegation in DC is most needed.