A Call to Make the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan Permanent

A letter to President Biden and members of Congress co-signed by Stand for Children

Common Sense Media
Friday, April 16, 2021

April 15, 2021
Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The White House
Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Speaker Pelosi
1236 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0512

Majority Leader Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3202

Dear Mr. President and Members of the United States Congress,

As organizations committed to the well-being of America's children, including the most vulnerable among them, we write to applaud you for the significant benefits provided to children and families from your American Rescue Plan and to urge you in the strongest possible terms to act now to extend those benefits in your upcoming American Family Plan, in particular by seeking to permanently extend the newly increased Child Tax Credit.

The enormous significance of the American Rescue Plan for America's low- and middle-income children and families struggling during the pandemic cannot be overstated, including but not limited to cutting child poverty nearly in half, expanding access to child care and health care, providing food and shelter assistance, and ensuring that students and teachers during the pandemic can access high-speed internet at home for distance learning.

We add our voice to the growing chorus that believes the moment has arrived to lock into place one of your most historic moves yet, the increase in the Child Tax Credit that is expected to cut child poverty nearly in half for one year. As you said about the Rescue Plan, "This will do more to end child poverty in America than anything we have ever done." Your administration and your supporters in Congress deserve the utmost praise for including this measure. Now, it is time to ensure these gains are not lost.

Children who grow up in poverty, even for short periods of time, face devastating long-term consequences, including emotional stress, lower life expectancy, poorer health outcomes, lower educational attainment levels, and lower lifetime earnings. These consequences are not just costly to those who face them individually, they undermine our economy and society.

We urge you to include a permanent extension of the newly revised Child Tax Credit in the upcoming American Family Plan, to keep it fully refundable, and payable on a monthly basis in line with how families must pay their bills or rent. Without making this life-changing benefit permanent, America once again will tolerate the sin of child poverty, an affliction we have demonstrated can and should be eradicated.

Thank you for your bold and forceful leadership for children and families.

James P. Steyer
Founder and CEO, Common Sense

Jonah Edelman
CEO, Stand for Children