Four Million Children Sliding Back into Poverty
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The expanded Child Tax Credit has expired. Today marks the first month that parents will miss a monthly payment from the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) since July, as unresolved negotiations surrounding the policy threaten to reverse landmark reductions in child poverty from the past year.
To date, monthly CTC payments have been responsible for moving and keeping 3.8 million American children above the poverty line, spurring hundreds of thousands of new family-owned businesses among the working class, and helping millions of parents maintain or increase their working hours.
Humanity Forward and other advocates for the CTC have continued working in Washington towards an extension, despite the policy’s expiration in December.
“Our work to advance the monthly Child Tax Credit is too important to families for us to throw in the towel now when families need it the most. That is why Humanity Forward’s work is consensus-driven and bipartisan. 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.”Liam Declive-Lowe, Humanity Forward Executive Director
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 a pro-family, pro-work policy among stakeholders of all stripes.
Finding Middle Ground
As the conversation of CTC extension progresses, legislators and policy leaders across the aisle have proposed paths forward, acknowledging that it’s time we started deliberating how to compromise. A version of the policy proposed by Niskanen Center’s Director of Poverty and Welfare Policy and Humanity Forward Policy Council member Samuel Hammond, for example, has garnered recent attention for addressing some of the disagreements among Democratic senators related to the Build Back Better Act’s CTC extension. This middle-ground iteration of the CTC contains a modest work test with notable exemptions for retirees, disabled parents, and full-time students, and preserves much of the policy’s appeal among Democrats and Republicans.
“We’ve heard from parents across the country who have spent the past month scrambling to figure out how they’re going to afford food, childcare, or heat their homes,” said Greg Nasif, Chief Spokesperson for Humanity Forward. “Being a parent is more expensive than ever. Letting the Child Tax Credit lapse will take food out of their mouths, and make it harder for families to maintain full-time employment. Letting kids go hungry is not a real political or economic strategy. We’re going to exhaust every option possible in Washington to get the CTC up and running again.”