Friday, during a House Ways and Means Committee Markup on HR7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, AL-07, led the push to fully restore Democrats’ expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) which cut child poverty in the U.S. by almost half before Congressional Republicans let it expire.
“When Democrats held the majority, we took historic action to expand the Child Tax Credit and provide a lifeline to working families in the form of monthly payments. As a result, we cut child poverty in half and lifted millions of children out of poverty before my Republican colleagues let this program expire,” said Rep. Sewell.“While I am grateful that Republicans have finally come to the table, we know that today’s markup would not have been possible were it not for Democrats’ insistence on supporting our most vulnerable children. We should take this opportunity to fully restore this critical anti-poverty program.”
Democrats’ American Rescue Plan (ARP), signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, expanded the CTC from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under 6 years of age and to $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17. Democrats made the credit fully refundable, no longer limited by the taxpayer’s income tax liability, and issued it to families in the form of monthly payments for the first time. In 2021, the CTC slashed child poverty to the lowest level on record, lifting 5.3 million people out of poverty, including 2.9 million children. The CTC reduced Black child poverty by 6.3 percent, from 14.5 percent to 8.1 percent, amounting to approximately 716,000 Black children. In Alabama, approximately 992,000 children benefited from the expanded CTC.
Among other provisions, HR7024 would provide a modest expansion of the CTC. During Friday’s markup, Rep. Sewell offered an amendment to once again issue the credit in predictable monthly installments to help families keep up with bills, child care, and other regular expenses. Committee Republicans blocked the amendment by a party-line vote of 25 to 18. Republicans also voted down an amendment to make the CTC fully refundable to reach our nation’s poorest children.
“I am disappointed that Republicans have chosen to put politics ahead of good policy by refusing to fully restore the Child Tax Credit,” continued Sewell. “Nonetheless, this legislation represents a step in the right direction, which is why I voted to advance it out of the Ways and Means Committee.”
HR7024 passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday by a vote of 40 to 3.