Letter in support of Build Back Better and an expanded Child Tax Credit

February 1, 2022

Filed Under:

Dear President Biden and Members of Congress:

The undersigned 418 organizations support permanently expanding the Child Tax Credit to
ensure all children and families can meet their needs and thrive. The extension of the Child Tax
Credit in the Build Back Better Act passed by the House of Representatives in November is an
important step in the right direction. We urge the swift enactment of the Build Back Better
Act, that includes a fully expanded and inclusive CTC as passed by the House.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion in the American Rescue Plan helped millions of families
take care of their children and support their everyday needs. From July to December 2021,
advanced monthly payments of the CTC gave families the freedom and flexibility to make the
financial choices that are best for them. For many, the CTC was a lifeline that allowed them to
put food on the table, pay back debt and supplement lost wages due to the pandemic. Now,
families are without this critical income support during a time when COVID cases and costs for
food, rent, and other necessities continue to rise. As parent Lydia Coe told the Washington Post
on December 21 about the expiring CTC, “For us people that live in poverty, life is so expensive.
Rent is expensive, getting to work is expensive. Babysitters are expensive. It’s all so expensive
when you are not making enough money.”

It is critical that the CTC be extended now without further delay. The expanded CTC has already
proven to be hugely successful, keeping 3.7 million children out of poverty and reducing food
insufficiency among families by 26 percent since the improved benefit first hit bank accounts in
July 2021. It has also promoted family well-being, as 70 percent of caregivers reported that it
made them feel less stressed. It is a central provision of the Build Back Better Act (BBBA), and
the only one that can prevent millions of children from sliding back into poverty and economic
hardship. According to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), failure
to extend the CTC means that 10 million children could be pushed into or slip deeper into
poverty. Even worse, children of color will be hit hardest. For Black, Latinx, and Indigenous
children their poverty rates would almost double, completely eroding the reduction in child
poverty over the last year.

Every child deserves to have what they need to thrive. Raising children and affording basic
necessities is expensive and families need regular, consistent, and increased cash support
permanently, not just for six months. Failure to do so only increases the racial, income,
educational, and health disparities that are pervasive in our country. Our children deserve a fully
expanded and inclusive CTC that invests in their long-term outcomes and helps families make
ends meet.

Once again, we urge you to act swiftly to get the Build Back Better Act done to support the 61
million children who received this monthly allowance and the millions more who want to signup. Every month we fail to extend this transformative program is another month that we fail our
children and hurt our collective future. Our children and families are counting on you to get this
done.

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