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Coons, Brown, Cox urge Congress to speed delivery of safety net programs

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, along with Rep. TJ Cox, D-California, released a statement March 17 urging Congress to make it easier for Americans to get assistance from safety net programs by eliminating asset tests.

“Passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is an important, necessary step, but there is so much more Congress must do to help the Americans who will lose income or access to other basic needs because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote. “That’s why we urge Congress to pass our bill, the Allowing Steady Savings by Eliminating Tests Act, that would speed the delivery of safety net programs to the most vulnerable in our communities. Asset tests are counterproductive because they discourage savings. Removing them will also make the application process simpler for families, enabling states to handle a likely increase in caseloads from COVID-19. We are committed to working with our Republican colleagues to pass this legislation, so we can ensure individuals and families have the support they need to get through this crisis.”

In February, Coons, Brown and Cox, along with Reps. Kim Schrier, D-Washington, and Jimmy Gomez, D-California, introduced the Allowing Steady Savings by Eliminating Tests Act. which would eliminate asset limits as a means of eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and raise asset limits for Supplemental Security Income. The ASSET Act recognizes the misguided incentives in these vital public assistance programs and would instead increase the financial security of low-income families by helping them save for the future and move towards self-sufficiency.

For more on the ASSET Act, visit bit.ly/2w6jwFn.