Rep. Tlaib, Colleagues Introduce Anti-Poverty Legislation Helping 218 Million Americans
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), joined by fellow Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), and Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-4), introduced the Building Our Opportunities to Survive and Thrive (BOOST) Act. This anti-poverty bill would give residents and families up to $6,000 in their pockets through a refundable tax credit that can be paid monthly. The BOOST Act is in stark contrast to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which has only helped shareholders and wealthy individuals while everyday families are still looking for resources that will help them thrive. Director of The Economic Security Project, Adam Reuben, was also on hand to voice his organization’s support for the landmark piece of legislation.
“We have a crisis in this country. Far too many people are living in poverty and many more are an emergency away from finding themselves struggling to put food on the table,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “Nearly half of Americans do not have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency expense. In my home state of Michigan, that’s a cracked rim from the many potholes residents encounter. The BOOST Act is about fairness. This is a win-win. We know when we put money in the pockets of families, they are able to provide necessities and the local economy is helped as well.”
According to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, the BOOST Act will help more than 153 million adults, including 93% of the bottom 60%, and more than 64 million children, including 99% of the bottom 60%. In total, BOOST would provide additional income to more than 218 million Americans.
“Enough of throwing our tax dollars at wealthy people and corporations under the false guise of job creation,” Tlaib continued. “Enough of the tax scams like the GOP Tax Scams that have led to lining the pockets of CEOs and shareholders.
“In the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District, nearly 1 in 5 individuals live below the poverty line,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “For these families, one emergency expense can lead to financial ruin. What’s worse, families facing a financial shock are more vulnerable to financial scams and predatory financial products like payday loans that perpetuate inequities and disparities of generational poverty. The BOOST Act provides a critical buffer for families that are continuing to navigate an economy that is stacked against them.”
“Many of the constituents I represent are low- and moderate-income families, living paycheck-to-paycheck. While the cost of living has increased, their wages have not. With little to no money for emergency funds, one small change can upset their financial stability,” said Congressman García. “The enormous tax cut that Republicans passed for corporations and the very wealthy in 2017 did not help my constituents. The BOOST Act directly combats systemic poverty that afflicts communities like mine, and many others around the country. Tax cuts should go to the communities that need it the most and The BOOST Act does just that by lifting children and families in my district out of poverty. I am proud to support it.”
"While Americans work hard—whether it’s a full-time job, or caring for a sick family member—an outdated notion of who deserves help from our society means that too many still struggle to make ends meet,” said Reuben. “The BOOST Act would essentially provide a cost-of-living refund to those who need it most, so that in the richest country in the world, we can make sure that no one lives in poverty.”
The bill now awaits committee assignment.