Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chair of the Senate Banking and Housing Committee Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined Data for Progress and Groundwork Action to announce new polling data that shows expanding the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan is highly popular and has strong bipartisan support and that doing so would lift millions of American children and families out of poverty during the COVID-19 health and economic crises.
According to data from the Columbia Center on Poverty and Social Policy, the proposed increase in the Child Tax Credit alone would lift 6.7 million people out of poverty this year, including almost 4 million children. It would drive the child poverty rate down to 8.1 percent and the Black poverty rate to 14.5 percent, both historic lows, and reduce the Black/white poverty ratio to below 2 for the first time since we began collecting poverty statistics. The childless worker EITC would also provide real benefits to 38.4 million people, either directly or because they live with someone who would receive the boost.
Expansion of both of these credit is extremely popular with the public, including with Republicans. The fact sheet on the polling data can be viewed HERE.
“Senate Democrats are fighting hard to expand two powerful and highly-effective anti-poverty tools to deliver relief to working families in the latest COVID package,” said Leader Schumer. “It’s no surprise that during the greatest health and economic crises we’ve faced in generations, the American people – including the majority of Republicans –support this expansion that would put money in the pockets of families who have been hurt most by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will deliver this relief to help millions of struggling Americans through the next several months of difficulty.”
“Expanding the earned income and child tax credits is especially important now because the pandemic and economic crisis have hit working-class Americans the hardest. Workers of modest means have worked tirelessly to get our country through the pandemic. These are essential workers who aren’t always paid like essential workers. We’re talking about grocery store clerks, bus drivers, and home health aides,” said Senator Wyden. “Expanding the child tax credit would be one of the single most effective approaches Congress could take to cut child poverty. Making the full child tax credit available to families—regardless of income—is critical at a time when 5 million women have dropped out of the labor force because of the pandemic. Ensuring parents have money to house, feed, and clothe their children will be life-changing for millions of families.”
“Even before this pandemic, hard work wasn’t paying off for millions of workers. Wages have been flat for decades, while the cost of everything is up – particularly the cost of raising kids,” said Senator Brown. “After a year of being told their government can’t help them, Americans across the political spectrum, in all kinds of communities around the country, want us to go big and pass the American Rescue Plan. The EITC and CTC are a big part of that effort – these tax credits are two of the most effective tools to put money in the pockets of working people and pull children out of poverty. This plan will help deliver real, tangible results that make a difference in people’s lives.”
“What I hear all over Colorado is that people are working harder than ever, but they still can’t afford some combination of child care, health care, housing, and higher education. An expansion of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit would make a huge difference in people’s lives. With these provisions, we can cut child poverty in half, and move us toward an economy that actually values families and working people,” said Senator Bennet. “We now have a historic opportunity to get this done and remind the American people that we can make our democracy work for them.”
“Our country is facing dual economic and public health crises unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes and the American people are asking Congress for help,” said Senator Booker. “When we pass the expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit as a part of the upcoming COVID-19 relief bill, we will be making a smart decision for our country’s long-term economic recovery, extending a lifeline for the people who have been hardest hit by this crisis and taking a meaningful step in addressing the crisis of child poverty in America.”
For the last six years we had a Senate majority focused solely on large corporations’ bottom line. Now we have a Senate majority focused on lifting children above the poverty line,” said Sean McElwee, Executive Director of Data For Progress. “Data for Progress and Groundwork polling shows Democratic plans for a historic expansion of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit enjoy overwhelming support from voters across the political spectrum. Now, it’s time for Republicans to heed this call and pass the American Rescue Plan and advance this once-in-a-generation anti-poverty proposal.”
"This poll highlights what many of us have known for a long time: putting more money into the pockets of the workers and families who need it most is not just good economic policy – it’s popular, it’s unifying, and there’s absolutely no reason not to get it done," said Lindsay Owens, interim Executive Director of Groundwork Collaborative. "Passing these policies would pull millions of workers and families out of poverty, give our economy a critically-needed boost, and would be an important step in the work to fix our broken economy."