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Northwestern experts weigh in on second round of Biden executive actions

New executive orders intended to provide relief for struggling families through food assistance, workers protections, stimulus checks

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Biden-Harris administration issued two more executive orders today, expanding food assistance, providing stimulus checks to low-income Americans and strengthening worker protections, which include a move to raise the minimum wage to $15 for the federal workers.

Northwestern University experts are available to comment on the potential impact of these measures.

Find additional Politics 2021 experts on Northwestern’s For Journalists site.

Executive action experts:

Christine Percheski is an assistant professor of sociology in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a faculty fellow of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy and Research where she studies family demography, economic inequality and health policy. Her research is particularly concerned with understanding the wellbeing of American women and families with children. She can be reached by contacting Stephanie Kulke at 847-491-4819 or by email at c-percheski@northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Percheski

“These new executive orders (and the actions that will likely result from them by Labor and Agriculture) will lessen the suffering of many vulnerable families. The result will be increased food aid to families with children, increased wages for some of the lowest-paid federal workers, and the maintenance of unemployment benefit eligibility for workers particularly likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. These orders are a very important first step while we await Congressional action to address the needs of all suffering families and workers.”

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach can speak to media about a range of indicators, including food insecurity, unemployment and housing in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

An expert in poverty and economics and leading researcher focusing on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Schanzenbach is director of the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) and Margaret Walker Alexander Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy. She is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. IPR researchers have created a new application for tracking seven economic indicators data across the nation and state by state. Users can find data from April 23, 2020, onward from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey on unemployment, children's schooling, housing, finances, mental health, and food insecurity for American households. Read the report. Using Census data, they have also developed an app that graphs weekly food insecurity rates for different states and different racial and ethnic groups. Schanzenbach can be reach at dws@northwestern.edu.