Background: Once again Congress has recessed without extending the child tax credit increase to low income working families with children. As you recall, last minute changes in the recently enacted tax bill kept low paid families from receiving the same benefits as middle income families. While both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed bills to address the omission, they continue to haggle over differences in conference while twelve million children in families who work but make less than $26,000 a year are denied additional assistance. Now with refund checks being sent to most middle income families, Senators and Representatives need to hear that leaving these families behind is wrong.
Action Requested: Contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to find an effective way to expand the child credit assistance, which is now provided to middle income families, to working poor families and their children as well. It is a matter of simple justice.
Encourage your Representative to weigh in with the House leadership, and especially the House appointees to the conference committee tasked with working out differences between the two bills: Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY).
All Members’ offices can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224-3121. Once connected to your Representative’s office, ask for their staff person who handles “taxes.” Please call your Representative as soon as possible.
USCC Position: In a July 25 letter to Congressional Leadership, Cardinal McCarrick expressed the Bishops’ Conference’s “disappointment that Congress has yet to agree on how to increase the refundable portion of the child tax credit.” He urged Congress to “do everything you can to act now to include the children of low-paid working families so that they too will benefit from the President’s tax relief program.“ 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."
For more information: Thom Shellabarger 202 541 3189, firstname.lastname@example.org