WASHINGTON, D.C. — Economic Security Project Action alongside a coalition of 40 racial justice, civil rights, and economic justice advocacy organizations today co-signed a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, expressing their continued concern over the expiration of the expanded monthly Child Tax Credit (CTC) program. The effort – spearheaded by the NAACP, The National Urban League, UnidosUS, The Leadership Conference, Community Change Action, and Economic Security Project Action – urges Senate leadership to restart monthly CTC payments and restore eligibility to immigrant children. In the letter, the coalition describes the tax credit as:
“[…] the most immediate, meaningful response to higher prices that Congress can deliver to 36 million families, especially Black and Latino families historically left out of the full Child Tax Credit.”
Within the letter, the coalition of organizations argue that the expanded monthly CTC program passed through the American Rescue Plan, which pulled 3.7 million children out of poverty and reduced child poverty by nearly 30 percent, had a significant, disproportionate impact for families of color. Census Household Pulse survey data, for example, found that within six weeks of the first payment going out, food insecurity plummeted by one-third. The effects of this change were most notable for Black and Latino families, who experience food hardship at twice the rate of white families.
“As my colleagues have said time and time again – poverty is a policy choice,” added Adam Ruben, Director of Economic Security Project Action. “By failing to restore the expanded monthly Child Tax Credit, Congress has allowed millions of kids to fall back into poverty, including more than 2.5 million Black and Latino children. It is time for leadership on Capitol Hill to fully reckon with their mistakes and take immediate action. The lives of countless families – namely families of color – depend on it.”
In addition, the coalition writes in their letter:
“The timing of the expiration of expanded CTC payments was also particularly cruel, coming just as omicron unleashed another devastating surge in a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted our communities and as inflation soared to highs not seen in forty years. Given this we believe strongly that Congress must not extend tax breaks for big corporations through the America COMPETES Act or any other major must-pass legislation without also delivering real relief for families by extending the CTC.”
A full version of the letter to Capitol Hill leadership can be found here.