Expanding child tax credit could lift 4 million children out of poverty: analysis

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A permanent expansion of the child tax credit could lift more than 4 million children out of poverty, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The advocacy group’s annual report, which measures child well-being in all 50 states, found that expanding the tax credit would help millions of children whose families were hard-hit by the coronavirus recession. About 12 million children in the U.S. live below the poverty line.

Michael Cassidy, director of policy reform and advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, told The Hill that making the tax credit permanent would lead to great strides in efforts to eradicate child poverty.

“The improved child tax credit will be a real game changer for millions of children because it will lift so many out of poverty. We will be able to reduce child poverty … as a result of these kinds of improvements,” he said.

The child tax credit was established in March as part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. It will provide direct monthly payments of $300 a month to parents of children under the age of 6, and $250 for parents of older children, on the 15th of each month from July through December. The program will provide funds for about 90 percent of families with kids.

Black and Latino children would make up the majority of those who would benefit from permanent expansion of the tax credit, the Annie E. Casey Foundation said in Monday’s report. Poverty affected 31 percent of African American children and 23 percent of Latino children in 2019, compared to the national average of 17 percent, according to the report.

“Nearly a decade of progress after the Great Recession could be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic unless policymakers act boldly to sustain the beginnings of a recovery,” the Annie E. Casey Foundation said in a statement.

After Biden announced the creation of temporary tax credits, Democratic lawmakers called for the direct payments to become permanent. Democrats in both chambers have introduced legislation to make the tax credit permanent, but neither chamber has voted on a measure.

Tags Child tax credit Joe Biden Tax credits

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