Thanks for all your help! The Senate overwhelmingly (94-2) passed a compromise child credit bill (details below) and the focus is now on the House of Representatives.
Action Needed: The House of Representatives must now act to increase the refundability of the Child Tax Credit. Contact your Representative(s) and urge them to support HR 1308, the refundable Child Tax Credit bill. It is critical that we seize this opening and push for increased refundability --meaning that low-income families get the expanded assistance that middle income families will receive with the new tax law.
All Members offices can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224-3121. Once connected to your Representatives office, ask for their staff person who handles taxes. Urge your Representative to support HR 1308 the refundable Child Tax Credit.
Please call your Representative(s) as soon as possible.
Background: The recently passed tax bill increases the child tax credit to $1,000 for middle income children but does not provide similar benefits to low income working families with children. The bill (HR 1308) approved by the Senate added several more provisions to the original relief for the low-wage families:
- extends the child credit to married couples making up to $200,000 who could receive a portion of the tax credit, depending on how many children they have;
- simplifies the definition of a dependent child in the tax code, making it easier for several thousand families to take advantage of child-based provisions;
- ensures that families of military personnel who served in Iraq or Afghanistan would be eligible for the tax credit by treating combat pay as earned income.
USCC Position: In a June 3 letter to Congressional Leadership, Cardinal McCarrick said: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is very disappointed that the tax bill just signed by the President does not increase the refundable portion of the child tax credit.
The Catholic bishops were early supporters of changes in the tax code like the child tax credit that assist low-income families. In their 1991 pastoral statement, Putting Children and Families First, the bishops asserted: "We welcome proposals to reform the tax code to help families cope with the high cost of raising children. These proposals, which have drawn bipartisan support, would allow middle income families with children to keep more of what they earn and would help lift low income families out of poverty."
More information: Thom Shellabarger 202 541 3189, firstname.lastname@example.org