The Child Tax Credit is an Important Investment in American Families

Julia Morris
October 28, 2021

The expanded Child Tax Credit is one of the most significant expansions of the social safety net the U.S. has had in decades and provides necessary assistance to millions of middle class families, and families living at or below the poverty line. This safety net expansion is essential. Nine in ten families qualify for the Child Tax Credit, supplementing up to $300 for each child, which played a major role in bolstering families struggling to afford food, clothes, and childcare in the pandemic.

This universally beneficial tax credit is in jeopardy, with Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Krysten Sinema (AZ) posing major threats to getting these essential funds to children in need despite the major success they’ve seen in their home states.

In September, 86% of West Virginians said the expanded Child Tax Credit made a “huge difference.” In Arizona, poverty rates would decrease by 45% if the Child Tax Credit was expanded.

As it stands now, the credit will only be expanded for one year, and it is not likely to be renewed in Congress again. Our economy is going to need longer than one year to recover — which will leave millions of families without the support they need.

In addition, Senator Manchin wants to impose strict work requirements for this bill. This ignores that wages are as low as they’ve ever been in American history. Putting in a hard days work in the United States is no longer a guarantee that you won’t live in poverty, leaving many parents to work two jobs — meaning they will have to pay for child care, which many can no longer afford. Let’s face it: raising children is work and strong families are the building block of our society.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are hoping to pass the Build Back Better plan by October 31. These next few days in Congress are critical.

NETWORK needs your support to pass one of the significant investments in our country to date.

Here are a few highlights of this bill:

  • Expansion of the Child Tax Credit
  • Lowering Child Care Costs – necessary as 120,000 children have lost caregivers in the pandemic
  • Lowering Higher Education Costs

All of these bold provisions are necessary to ensure a full economic recovery.  As Pope Francis said, recovery needs to be: “capable of generating new, more inclusive and sustainable solutions to support the real economy… and the universal common good, not a return to an unequal and unsustainable model of economic and social life, where a tiny minority of the world’s population owns half of its wealth.”

A budget is a reflection of our values, but past budgets have too often caused harm by underinvesting in our people and our communities. We at NETWORK know this from meeting and listening to families across the country who struggle to make ends meet every month or face impossible choices between paying for rent or paying for medicine.

Now is the time to show Congress your support; this is the final push we will need to get this passed.

You can write an email to tell your Senator to support Build Back Better here.

Or if you are a constituent of Sen. Sinema or Sen. Manchin, you can call them at 1-888-436-6478, to show your support for the bill.