Rep. Levin Offers Amendment to Improve the TANF Program

May 30, 2018 Issues: LGBT Rights, Veterans, Hunger and Nutrition

Rep. Levin Offers Amendment to Improve the TANF Program

Last week, the Ways & Means Committee held a markup of legislation to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. During the markup, Rep. Levin offered an amendment that would improve TANF by establishing a $10 billion Emergency Fund to help states respond to economic downturns. This Emergency Fund, similar to an expired program in the Recovery Act of 2009, would have provided state TANF programs with additional resources for cash assistance, short-term benefits, and subsidized jobs during periods of high unemployment. The amendment was paid for through a slight adjustment to the corporate tax rate of about one-tenth of a percentage point. Although Ways & Means Republicans prevented a direct vote on this amendment, Rep. Levin continues to believe more must be done to help states provide support to families during periods of economic downturns.

Rep. Levin Honors Former Office of Strategic Services Veteran

On Memorial Day, Rep. Levin joined with community members in Beverly Hills to commemorate the fallen service men and women of the United States of America. The Rep. joined others in laying a wreath at Beverly’s veterans’ memorial. During the ceremony, Rep. Levin honored a special guest, Mr. Keith Cole. Mr. Cole served in World War II as a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was the forerunner of the CIA. Mr. Cole’s role in the war was to fly and drop spies, saboteurs, and supplies into German occupied areas of Europe. For his service, Mr. Cole was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in March along with other OSS Veterans.

Rep. Levin thanked Mr. Cole and returned to honoring the fallen by reiterating that Memorial Day is not just a day off, but a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by the men and women of the US military.

Transgender and Gay Bias Protection Expands in Michigan

Last week, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission decided to expand bias protections to gay and transgender residents, allowing the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to begin processing and evaluating reports of alleged discrimination based upon sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This decision has provided protections for gay and transgender individuals by expanding the scope of the Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act, which is an important piece of anti-discrimination state legislation. Under the act, members of the LGBTQ+ community are now guaranteed support and defense against the biases they may face at work, school, and other public places. This is an important step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in Michigan.

Happy (Belated) Memorial Day!

This Memorial Day weekend, DC was flocked with veterans, their families, and tourists to commemorate the sacrifices of our armed forces. On Friday, a glass case full of more than 645,000 poppy flowers – one for each soldier who has lost their life since World War I –  was displayed on the southwest side of the National Mall. The exhibit also included information about the number of casualties in each war fought by the U.S. in the last century, as well as information about the poppy’s significance. On Sunday night, the National Memorial Day Concert, which featured the National Symphony Orchestra and military bands, was held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. On Monday, Arlington National Cemetery hosted its 150th National Memorial Day Observance, which included a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknowns and a program of remembrance. The weekend came to a close with the National Memorial Day Parade, which featured military units, floats, and marching bands.