The expansion of the Child Tax Credit has had a great impact on the family economy, which is why a group of Democrats is trying to expand it.
Child poverty in the US fell to a new record low, according to data from the Census Bureau.
The expansion of the Child Tax Credit seems to be the main reason for the decrease. The data shows that 5.2% of children were living in poverty in 2021, which is a significant drop from the 9.2% of impoverished children in 2020.
Democrats, through President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of 6, and to $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17.
According to Census Bureau estimates, the tax credit lifted 5.3 million people out of poverty in 2021, including 2.9 million children. One million of those children were under the age of 6.
“The new data shows the significant impact the expansion of anti-poverty programs during the COVID-19 pandemic had on reducing child poverty,” the Census Bureau said in a press release.
The child poverty rate for Hispanic children fell by 6.3% points as a result of the credit, representing 1.2 million Hispanic children, according to the data.
The expanded credit expired at the end of last year. After the culmination of the aid, a Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University study determined that almost 4 million children fell into poverty in January after it expired.
Taking into account the positive impact the tax credit had, a group of six Democratic lawmakers, including Ritchie Torres (D-NY), a legislator of Puerto Rican origin, are asking to extend it.
“Today’s census data confirms that the expanded Child Tax Credit worked: it allowed the hard work of tens of millions of parents to pay off, and helped them keep up with the cost of living, dramatically reducing child poverty and hunger,” the lawmakers said in a press release when the data was revealed.
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“We should have never allowed this critical program to lapse, and we should not extend corporate tax breaks at the end of this year without also extending the expanded Child Tax Credit,” they added.
Eligible parents who missed out on the program can still claim the money. They must fill out the forms at getctc.org by Nov. 15.