The People's Budget Empowers the Middle Class and Provides a Pathway Out of Poverty

The American middle class is what drives our economy. We must invest in working people, not undermine the protections they've earned.

Americans are working longer hours and taking home paychecks that haven’t kept up with the rising costs of health care, housing, and education. We know that without vital programs such as Social Security, nutrition assistance, and tax credits for working familes, our nation's poverty rate would be nearly twice as high as it is today. This is why The People’s Budget rejects any cuts to programs that provide basic living standards and instead expands them to meet the needs of millions of Americans.

A staggering 43 million Americans are living in poverty, including one in five children. These statistics are even more tragic in our vulnerable communities, including communities of color,  seniors and women.

Raising Wages by Empowering Workers — The CPC Budget calls for congressional action to improve America’s labor and workplace laws, so workers can bargain together for better pay, benefits, and a meaningful voice in the workplace. By raising the minimum wage, passing the Workplace Democracy Act, the Wage Act, ending state-based right-to-work, and updating overtime regulations to raise the income threshold to $69,000, we can help workers help themselves. The CPC Budget also supports gradually eliminating the outdated and unfair sub minimum wage for tipped workers.

The People’s Budget endorses Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s (D-CT) Healthy Families Act to provide workers with up to 7 days of paid sick leave, which would help prevent the nearly $160 billion in lost productivity suffered by American businesses every year due to the spread of sickness in the workplace. The budget also endorses executive action that would give preference federal contractors that do more than just the legal minimum by providing living wages, paid leave, and covering health care for their workers. It would also require contractors to respect their employees’ right to collectively bargain.

4 Percent Federal Pay Increase — The People’s Budget ensures that the federal government will be able to compete for the best and the brightest candidates. The CPC Budget increases agency budgets within discretionary funding to provide a 4% pay increase to dedicated civil servants who work on behalf of the American people every day.

Paid Leave — The People’s Budget encourages the adoption of paid leave in states. It provides states with funding and technical assistance necessary to establish successful paid leave programs to create a healthy workforce. It also includes Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-NY) Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act to provide six weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees within the budget's discretionary funding increases.

Fair trade — Bad trade deals have had a devastating impact on American workers and have resulted in jobs being shipped overseas.  According to the Department of Labor , since 1975, over 2 million workers have relied on TAA to train for new employment and make ends meet. The CPC Budget supports a strong Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Trade Adjustment assistance provides necessary assistance for workers who have lost their jobs due to the impact of trade.

Strengthens Living Standards
SNAP Benefits — The People's Budget restores SNAP benefits to continue to provide basic food security to families. Additionally it provides an additional $10.8 billion for Child Nutrition Funding so that these programs extend into summer.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation will be available for up to 99 weeks for anyone who has lost a job through no fault of their own.

Invests in Women and Communities of Color — The People's Budget provides desperately needed funds to programs such as Head Start, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Failies (TANF), and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), among many others. The People’s Budget recognizes that equal work deserves equal pay and supports efforts to reduce the gender pay gap between men and women.

The CPC Budget also supports targeting resources to the most vulnerable populations by using the “10-20-30 Formula.” This language requires that at least 10 percent of the federal funds in certain accounts be directed to certain areas that have had a poverty rate of 20 percent for the last 30 years. This non-partisan proposal will ensure that federal resources are actually reaching communities most in need to improve the economic and social conditions in these distressed communities that have long struggled with persistent poverty.

The People’s Budget also supports Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) Half-in-Ten Act, which would establish the Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Poverty. This coalition would develop and implement a national strategy to reduce poverty by half in ten years, as well as provide regular reports on their progress to Congress.