Advocacy group: Cliff deal a win for children

The fiscal-cliff deal extended expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the child tax credit, both incentives aimed at working families, that were first enacted in the 2009 stimulus package. It also kept the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a provision that helps families with tuition costs. 

Democrats had pushed for months to keep those expansions, saying they were always meant to be permanent. 

First Focus and other groups have said tax preferences for working families are crucial to keeping children out of poverty. But Republicans said the stimulus expansions were meant to be temporary. 

The family group also said that extending unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless would help the increasing number of children living with an unemployed parent. 

Still, like other groups, First Focus also expressed concern that the latest deal did not deal with looming automatic spending cuts, the debt ceiling or government funding past the end of March. 

“Going forward, we need Congress to remember that investments in children are not the cause of our fiscal imbalance and to ensure a bright future, we need to make sure they are wisely maintained and strengthened,” First Focus said. “A budget built on the backs of children is a move in the wrong direction.”