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Showing posts from January, 2018

Take Action Against Payday Lending

From our friends at the Bucks County Women's Advocacy Coalition and Americans for Financial Reform 

The House of Representatives is poised to open a huge loophole in state interest rate caps and the right of state voters to enact rate caps, effectively giving the green light to payday lenders to charge debt trap interest rates to low-income consumers without having to abide by state laws.

HR 3299 poses a grave threat to state interest rate caps and could open the floodgates for payday and other predatory lenders nationwide. This bill wipes away the strongest available tools against predatory lending, leaving consumers vulnerable to interest rates in excess of 390%.

Your voice, along with others from across the country, is critical to push back against the lobbying by out-of-state banks, online lenders, debt collectors, payday lenders and others who are seeking your Congressmember’s permission to disregard state-level interest rate limits. This is significant because state interes…

The Budget Impasse is Over... For Now

On Monday, Congress came to a bipartisan agreement to end the three day federal shutdown. The legislation included six years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP had been operating without funding since the end of September, and, without this budget agreement, states were at risk of running out of CHIP funding by March.

The agreement came at a price, though. No action was taken on the Dreamers (although there was a promise made to address the issue), and, in three weeks, we may be back here again. The budget resolution passed only funds the budget through February 8, giving Congress a short window to make decisions on a long-term plan.

Action Steps
Ask Congress to pass a budget that invests in everyone. Call Congress at (202) 224-3121. Here's a sample script: "My name is ___, and I live in ___'s district. I am calling today to share my feelings on the federal budget. OUr communities are relying on programs like SNAP, rental assistance, cl…

Protect Tips and Protect Workers

Late last year, the Department of Labor announced a proposed rule change that would allow employers in tipped industries (primarily employers in the restaurant and food service industry) to collect and keep all tips earned by employees above the minimum wage. If employers chose to keep these tips, they could do so without notifying restaurant patrons.

Including tips, waiters and bartenders only earn about $10.11 per hour, with Black workers earning $9.62/hour and Latino workers earning $9.93. According to a report from ROC and NELP, workers in the industry have median earnings between $19,900 and $20,800 per year - yet this rule could transfer $5.8 billion from workers to employers.

Action Step
Write a public comment before February 5 to share your thoughts on this proposal.EPI and a number of participating organizations put together an easy form to send comments. You can use their language or customize your own. You can also submit comments directly in electronic format or hard copy to…

Keep the Dream Alive!

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**BREAKING NEWS - A judge issued a temporary ruling blocking the end of DACA and requiring the Administration to keep accepting DACA renewal applications. But there is still work to be done - see below!**

Last year, President Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under DACA, an executive action based on the Dream Act, recipients must have come to the United States as a child, be in school, and not have committed any crime. Since its inception, nearly 800,000 young people have signed up so that they could live, work, and study in the United States, the country they consider home.

Now, 122 DACA recipients are losing their status each day. With the loss of the DACA status comes the end of DACA recipients' work authorization, the loss of their driver's licenses, and the possibility that they may be detained and deported.

DACA has now become a key part of federal budget negotiation…