Want to End Child Poverty? Make the Child Tax Credit Permanent

August 10, 2021 Topic: economy Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Reboot Tags: IRSTaxesCreditsChildrenAmerican Rescue Plan

Want to End Child Poverty? Make the Child Tax Credit Permanent

The expanded credit, as passed in the American Rescue Plan, is only for the year 2021. But there have been calls to extend it for additional years, or possibly even to make it permanent.

Here's What You Need to Remember: The Biden administration has not proposed doing so, although, through its American Families Plan proposal, the administration called for the expanded tax credit to continue through 2025. It’s not clear whether that will be fit into the reconciliation infrastructure package that’s currently being debated by Congress.

One of the key pieces of the American Rescue Plan Act, which was passed by the Biden administration earlier this year, was the expansion of the child tax credit. The first payment from the new credit arrived July 15, with the next set to arrive August 13. Additional payments will arrive every month for the remainder of the year. 

The expanded credit, as passed in the American Rescue Plan, is only for the year 2021. But there have been calls to extend it for additional years, or possibly even to make it permanent. An op-ed published this week called for the latter approach. 

Sumbul Siddiqui, who is the mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, wrote in an op-ed published by the Boston Globe this week that the expanded child tax credit should be made permanent. 

Researchers estimate the expanded child tax credit will cut child poverty in almost half, and poverty for Black children—who are more likely to live in poor households—by more than half. I think how impactful these payments would have been for my mother, who worked as a grocery store clerk and struggled to make ends meet when I was growing up,” Siddiqui wrote. 

“Maybe we would have been able to move out of subsidized housing, maybe she would have been able to take time off to interview for a better-paying job. It is not hyperbolic to say these payments would have been nothing short of life-changing for our family, and as the mayor of Cambridge, I want to ensure that all my constituents have access to opportunities that are afforded to those with economic security.”

Multiple politicians have called for the expanded child tax credit to be made permanent. A group of Democratic elected officials, including Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), have endorsed making the credit permanent. 

“We have a real opportunity to not just throw money at a problem, but to . . . lift up all children and families,” DeLauro said at a press conference.

The Biden administration has not proposed doing so, although, through its American Families Plan proposal, the administration called for the expanded tax credit to continue through 2025. It’s not clear whether that will be fit into the reconciliation infrastructure package that’s currently being debated by Congress.

Janet Yellen, the current Secretary of the Treasury, endorsed making the child tax credit permanent in July. 

“I think this is something that’s very important to continue,” Yellen said in an interview with NPR last month. 

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. This article is being republished due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters.