Letter: Time to reinstate Child Tax Credit
in 2021 Congress expanded the CTC to all children in low-income families. That year, we saw the largest drop in child poverty ever recorded.
It is heartening to see our elected officials designing legislation that will address societal and environmental ills. The bipartisan Second Chance Task Force, led by Congressman Kelly Armstrong, will study how to help incarcerated individuals re-enter society and avoid recidivism. Sen. John Hoeven has joined with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) to strengthen Tribal law enforcement and increase public safety throughout Indian Country. Sen. Kevin Cramer has reintroduced a bipartisan bill, the Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act, to mitigate air, water and soil pollution caused by abandoned oil wells.
I urge our Congressional delegation to continue this productive bipartisanship by also joining across party lines to reduce poverty in our country. Doing so can be considered a form of crime prevention, because people raised in poverty are not only more likely to be imprisoned, but also are more likely to be the victims of crime.
The Child Tax Credit (CTC), originally passed in 1997 under a Republican-controlled Congress and expanded by Republicans several times, thereafter, has proven effective. In 2017 the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) increased the CTC amount from $1,000.00 per child to $2,000.00, but it failed to expand the credit to families with little to no taxable income. Fortunately, in 2021 Congress expanded the CTC to all children in low-income families. That year, we saw the largest drop in child poverty ever recorded, but Congress let the 2021 expansion expire. Now 19 million low-income children are excluded from the full CTC.
One step to rectify this would be to treat all who work equally. Under the current CTC, low-income workers can only get $1,400 of the credit as a refund, not the full $2,000, as a credit on their tax bill. All families that meet the work requirement should get the full $2,000 credit.
I call on Congressman Kelly Armstrong and Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven to find a way to again lift millions of children out of poverty. The need is urgent. Impoverished children in North Dakota and throughout our nation can’t wait.