02.08.21

Co-Chairs of Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity Applaud Congressional Proposal to Expand Child Tax Credit, Reduce Child Poverty

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), co-chairs of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, applauded the recently released proposal from House Democrats to provide $3,000 per child to tens of millions of American families, with the goal of addressing child poverty as part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic relief package. Congresswoman Lee and Leader Hoyer released the following statement:

“The level of this crisis is staggering. Eight million more families have fallen into poverty since last May, nearly one in three adults are having trouble paying for household expenses, and 12 million children are hungry. 

“Expanding the Child Tax Credit and providing struggling families, especially communities of color most impacted by this crisis, with direct payments over the course of the year would go an incredibly long way in our fight against child poverty in the face of this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. 

“When you dig into the racial and ethnic data, Black, Latino, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, and Alaska Native adults are twice as likely as white adults to report hunger. One in two of these households are having trouble making ends meet. Most alarmingly, if you are a person of color, you are more likely to die of the coronavirus.

“As co-chairs of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, we strongly support this effort and are looking forward to getting it across the finish line. Families are struggling and we need to provide relief, fast.”

Research has shown that the pandemic’s effect on children can have severe impacts on children’s long-term health, education, and financial security. The Census Pulse Survey found that almost 50 percent of children live in households that have difficulty covering usual expenses, including 66 percent of children in Black households, 58 percent of children in Latino households, 39 percent of children in white households, and 36 percent of children in Asian households. 

Under the proposal, the Internal Revenue Service would provide $3,600 over the course of the year per child under the age of 6, as well as $3,000 per child of ages 6 to 17. The payments would be sent monthly beginning in July, a delay intended to give the IRS time to prepare for the massive new initiative.