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On Tuesday night, a vote was held in the U.S. House on H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, legislation that has bipartisan, bicameral support and would promote the financial security of working families, support small and medium-sized businesses, and boost innovation and American competitiveness.

This bill contains a scaled-down version of the child tax credit (CTC) initiative championed by Senator Michael Bennet that was in effect temporarily during the pandemic (and credited with significantly reducing child poverty).

Image courtesy of Wisconsin Budget project

“The 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit helped cut child poverty nearly in half. It was a lifeline for millions and the most significant investment Washington has made in kids and families in generations. In short, it worked,” notes Bennet.

“I’m grateful for Chairman Wyden and Chairman Smith’s bipartisan commitment to fighting child poverty in our country,” he adds. “Although I am disappointed their proposal isn’t a return to the American Family Act, eighty percent of children currently left out of the full Child Tax Credit will benefit from this deal.

The bill is supported by U.S. Representative Brittany Pettersen (CO-07). It also includes other initiatives that are top priorities for Pettersen, including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and increased access to disaster relief.

“At a time when so many American families are struggling to make ends meet, Congress was finally able to come together on a tax package that will lower costs, support our local businesses and economies, and help address our housing crisis,” said Pettersen. “The expansion of the Child Tax Credit included in the bill would benefit an estimated 16 million children in low-income families – including 15,000 kids in my district alone – lifting nearly half a million children out of poverty nationwide. As a mom, I cannot overstate the impact this will have for parents, in addition to the housing tax credit and business support which will bolster our community as a whole.”

The legislation includes provisions that would:

  • Expand access to the Child Tax Credit with a phased increase to the refundable portion of the CTC for 2023, 2024, and 2025
  • Eliminate a penalty for larger families by ensuring the CTC phase-in is applied fairly to families with multiple children
  • Increase the supply of low-income housing by enhancing the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) with increased state allocations and a reduced tax-exempt bond financing requirement
  • Increase access to tax relief for certain individuals in qualified major disaster areas

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the bill would benefit 16 million children in low-income families and “lift as many as 400,000 children above the poverty line” in its first year, with more even more set to benefit in 2025. In Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, the Joint Economic Committee estimates this would benefit 15,000 kids in the first year.

“We need to get this done, and after we do, I’ll keep fighting to make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent. Our goal should be to end childhood poverty in this country,” said Bennet.