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Bonamici Leads Bipartisan Update to Anti-Poverty Grant Program

September 2, 2021
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [9/2/21] – Today Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) introduced bipartisan legislation to update the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program.


The CSBG program supports more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies (CAAs), which have been providing holistic assistance to poor and low-income communities across the country for more than 50 years. The Community Services Block Grant Modernization Act of 2021 will reauthorize this critical program for another decade and make overdue updates to further reduce poverty.


“Community Action Agencies have been working tirelessly to reduce poverty in our communities for decades,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Investing in these essential agencies will allow them to better meet the needs of our communities and lift even more families and individuals in NW Oregon and across the country out of poverty. This update is especially important now because the agencies have seen staggeringly high demand during the coronavirus pandemic. I’m pleased to continue the strong bipartisan tradition of supporting the Community Services Block Grant program by introducing this modernization bill.”


CSBG enables CAAs to be innovative, leverage public and private resources for their communities, and efficiently administer many programs—including Head Start, LIHEAP, nutrition assistance, weatherization, job training, housing, and assistance for those experiencing homelessness.


"Community Action Team Inc. and our partner organizations in other regions couldn't do our work without the Community Services Block Grant,” said Dan Brown, Executive Director of Community Action Team, Inc. “It's what makes us who we are. Reauthorizing and improving the program will help us continue to serve people in need and keep a roof over their heads. I appreciate Congresswoman Bonamici's efforts to direct more funding and make administrative improvements to this crucial program."

“No one fights harder to expand opportunities for communities and individuals than Suzanne Bonamici,” said David Bradley, CEO of the National Community Action Foundation. “She is second to none in pushing for the resources communities and individuals need to pave a path towards economic wellbeing and independence. She believes in STEAM, job training, public health and is unwavering in her support of the 15 million low-income individuals and families who are assisted by their local Community Action Agencies.”


Updates to the CSBG program include:

  • Reauthorizing the CSBG Act for 10 years at an increased annual level of $1 billion for first five years
  • Permanently raising income eligibility to 200 percent of the poverty line, as temporarily provided in the CARES Act
  • Promoting innovation in the Community Action network through a federally administered Community Action Innovations Program, and requiring federal and state training and technical assistance to support developing and promoting evidence-based approaches to reducing poverty

A fact sheet with more details about the CSBG Modernization Act can be found here.


Bonamici introduced the legislation joined by Representatives Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), and James Comer (R-KY).