Research shows that growing up in poverty is linked to lower educational attainment and earnings, more emotional and behavioral problems, worse adult health, and other lifelong problems.
The enhanced Child Tax Credit introduced by the American Rescue Plan Act cut child poverty nearly in half, but Congress allowed it to lapse. As a result, child poverty is rising once again.
Provisions of the American Families and Workers Act of 2024 (H.R. 7024) index the Child Tax Credit to inflation and make it fully available to low-income families by lifting—and eventually eliminating—the cap on how much of the credit is “refundable.” The poorest families, especially those with more than one child, would benefit the most. The bill also encourages the construction of affordable housing.
H.R. 7024’s expansion of the Child Tax Credit doesn’t go as far as the American Rescue Plan, but it is a step in the right direction. The bill passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support in January 2024.