Congress must extend the Child Tax Credit now

Our legislatures need to support American families.

I am pleased that the Inflation Reduction Act will help hard working Americans by reducing health care costs and making corporations pay a fairer share of taxes. I appreciate the work of representatives like Rep. Kim Schrier that helped make that happen.

But there is one big thing missing from the bill – the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC).

The 2021 CTC expansion with monthly payments was nothing less than extraordinary. After payments began in July 2021, child poverty dropped by 40%, food security increased, and families finally made ends meet. But Congress let the expanded CTC expire at the end of last year. With child poverty again on the rise and families still struggling with higher costs for rent and food, Congress must to bring it back. In Washington state alone, over 1,433,000 children under 18 benefited from the expanded CTC. Broken down by race/ethnicity, the number of children that benefited from the expanded CTC were as follows (According to U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2019 Population Survey):

■ 791,000 White

■ 332,000 Latinos

■ 59,000 Black

■ 85,000 Asian

■ 165,000 Other race or multiple race children

Congress is expected to pass a bipartisan tax bill at the end of this year, which will include tax breaks for corporations. That bill must prioritize children and families first. I urge our members of Congress to pass an expanded Child Tax Credit that reaches the lowest-income families and includes monthly payments in any tax legislation this year.

Amber Walker

Lake Tapps