As millions of Californians lose financial assistance designed to help manage the worst effects of the pandemic, key committees in the House of Representatives are considering legislation with the potential to pave the way for greater economic relief.
Last month, the House and Senate took a necessary step to advance a $3.5 trillion budget package: both chambers passed a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions. The instructions directed congressional committees to propose legislation and spending within specific targets. This week, key committees in the House are holding “mark up” hearings, a formal step the committees must take for the budget package to advance to the floor.
Committee markup hearings are scheduled throughout the week, including within: the Committee on Agriculture, which has oversight of spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Committee on Education and Labor, which has oversight on spending for child nutrition programs; and the Committee On Ways And Means, which has jurisdiction over spending related to tax changes. During the markup hearings, committee members will consider possible changes to the legislative text by offering and voting on amendments to it.
The legislation is designed to fund aspects of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, including the President’s American Families Plan. We are already seeing which provisions made it through, including funding for food assistance. But at this point nothing is final. In the weeks ahead, we will have to fight hard to keep the provisions the House committeees are voting on this week. As key decisions are being made, all members of congress need to hear from you that funding for school meals, Summer EBT, and greater economic relief must be included in the final budget reconciliation. This is a tremendous opportunity to advance the transformative changes we all care about.