Child Tax Credit: Activists Refuse to Stop Fighting for American Families

Child Tax Credit: Activists Refuse to Stop Fighting for American Families

Religious leaders have been making renewed pushes for the return of the 2021-era child tax credit

 

As a result of the American Rescue Plan Act, the expanded child tax credit existed for the second half of 2021, bringing direct payments each month for most American families who have children.

But when the credit expired at the start of 2022, efforts to extend it for another year as part of the Build Back Better legislative package failed in the U.S. Senate. Some Democratic senators continue to hold out hope for a revival of the credit, but there’s likely no path forward for the credit to come back this year.

 

However, activists are still pushing for it.

Religious leaders have been making renewed pushes for the return of the 2021-era child tax credit, both nationally and in child tax credit opponent Sen. Joe Manchin’s home state of West Virginia. Now, there’s another effort underway, by national civil rights organizations.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), several organizations, including the NAACP, National Urban League, Economic Security Project Action, The Leadership Conference, Community Change Acton, and Unidos US, called for the credit to come back.

“As tax season draws to an end and tens of millions of people across the country receive the second half of their expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), we write to express our deep and continued concern about the expiration of this vital support. The impact of the end of monthly CTC payments has been particularly profound - and painful - for communities of color,” the letter said.

The letter also argued that such checks are needed to help Americans deal with rising inflation.

“The expanded monthly CTC passed in the American Rescue Plan was one of the most successful policies in recent memory. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities observed, ‘It’s hard to recall a policy initiative that’s had such obvious success in improving families’ income security as the expanded Child Tax Credit.’ In just a few short months, the monthly expanded CTC payments pulled 3.7 million children out of poverty and reduced child poverty by nearly 30 percent.”

The letter also cited economists who endorsed the return of the credit.

“Poverty is a policy choice. Allowing millions of children, including more than 2.5 million Black and Latino children, to fall back into poverty is also a political choice,” the groups concluded in the letter. “We urge you to summon the political will and find a path forward so millions of children are not relegated to poverty just months after they and their families were given a lifeline. Any economic package must include an expanded monthly refundable Child Tax Credit and restore eligibility to immigrant children.”

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.