Gains in Poverty Reduction From 2021 At Risk Without Child Tax Credit
With the Child Tax Credit no longer being sent to American families, the landmark poverty reductions made in the past year are at risk.
According to Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy, 3.8 million American children were lifted from poverty by the CTC alone.
Another 6.6 million were lifted from ‘deep poverty,’ meaning unresolved CTC negotiations in Washington could leave nearly 10 million children in the United States in freefall towards hardship.
At present, there are a wide range of proposed extensions to the Child Tax Credit in Congress, but no clear frontrunner. The CTC bears a pedigree of bipartisanship through nearly 25 years of changes and iterations of support for American families, and is widely hailed as pro-family, pro-work policy on both sides of the aisle.
Until one emerges, parents are forging through hardship without support that helped with monthly expenses like food, child care and clothes – some of the most common uses for the credit, according to a Social Policy Institute study.
Alana Truss, a working mother in Las Vegas, told Marketplace.org that the Child Tax Credit helped her family by easing a long-standing financial stress.
“It definitely helped with, you know, getting us through to the next paycheck,” Truss said.
For others, like Retiree Andy Roberts, from St. Albans, West Virginia, the money was helpful in supporting his two grandchildren, who he and his wife adopted because of substance abuse issues that the children’s parents were recovering from.
“It’ll make you tighten up your belt, if you’ve got anything to tighten,” Roberts said to the Santa Monica Daily Press about the monthly payments’ expiration last month.
Without the Child Tax Credit, Roberts is bringing in $550 less each month to support his grandchildren.
For now, advocates for the Child Tax Credit’s extension say that while negotiations are still ongoing, the response from legislators of all political stripes to find a solution for parents is something to be hopeful for.
“[This] is why Humanity Forward’s work is consensus-driven and bipartisan,” said Liam deClive-Lowe, Executive Director for Humanity Forward, in a recent statement.
“If there is no compromise or path forward for Build Back Better, we must be prepared to engage with members of both parties to negotiate a Child Tax Credit extension for the Americans who are fighting tooth and nail to make ends meet.”