Policies

Strengthening Families

For Americans to avoid risky financial choices such as increasing credit card debt, sacrificing paychecks to care for children and taking out predatory payday loans, federal policy solutions can ensure that American families stay secure in their finances and free from hardship.

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A Bipartisan Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a direct, efficient tax credit for American families.  The credit is granted for each qualifying dependent child. Designed to help taxpayers support their families, this credit was created in 1997 with bipartisan support, expanded in 2017 under President Trump, and expanded again in 2021 under President Biden. 

We believe that American families deserve a long-term, bipartisan, and sustainable Child Tax Credit that’s not subject to polarized politics. 

There’s a good history to guide us. The Child Tax Credit has been built upon and expanded several times from its original structure. The policy benefits from a bipartisan appeal, having been expanded under both Republican and Democratic majorities over two decades of history supporting American families. 

Under the most recent Child Tax Credit expansion, eligible American families are provided a credit of up to $3,000 per child over the age of six and $3,600 per child under the age of six. The disbursement of this credit became monthly to assist families with routine expenses of parenting, the total dollar amount per child was raised, and the age limit for receiving these payments was raised from 16 to 17 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021.

Because 98 percent of children in the United States qualified to receive the enhanced monthly child tax credit, 3.7 million children were lifted from poverty according to Columbia University. Furthermore, these monthly payments helped to cover important family expenses. Common uses for the payments, according to the Census Bureau and a Social Policy Institute study, include groceries, utilities, clothing for children and emergency savings.

The Child Tax Credit has since reverted back to its expanded form unde the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. From this baseline, there are many ways to implement and design future iterations of an extended and/or enhanced Child Tax Credit. 

The Child Tax Credit has proven time and time again to be an efficient, direct means by which Congress can insulate American families from rising costs and ensure that any hardship brought about by inflation, such as food insufficiency, insufficient emergen