September 17, 2004
The Honorable Bill Frist
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Frist:
I write on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to express our expectation that as Congress acts to extend the various tax provisions in HR 1308 that an overdue increase in the refundable portion of the child tax credit will remain part of the package. To use HR 1308, a bill originally intended to correct the oversight of low income families in 2003, to provide tax relief for middle income families without making the needed adjustment for low income families would be wrong. I ask you to do everything you can to assure the inclusion of children from low-paid working families so that they too will benefit from this tax relief program.
As you know, the Catholic Bishops have been strong supporters of tax policies such as the child tax credit that assist families in raising their children. The Bishops Conference was pleased to work with Congress and the Administration in 2001 to ensure that the child credit was refundable. Once againunless Congress actschildren in low-income working families will receive little or no benefit from current law. Our faith calls us to stand up for these families and children and insist their needs should take priority; they should not be left behind.
An effective way must be found to expand the assistance, which is now provided to middle income families, to working poor families and their children as well. We believe it is a matter of simple justice.
With every best wish, I am
Theodore Cardinal McCarrick
Archbishop of Washington
Chairman, Domestic Policy Committee
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops