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Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Economic Mobility Act Would Be ‘Transformative’ for Millions of American Children
Press Statement

Washington, D.C. — Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved the Economic Mobility Act, which would boost important tax credits for low-income families, especially those with young children. Following the vote, Rebecca Vallas, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

By approving the Economic Mobility Act, the House Ways and Means Committee took a bold step today that could have a positive and even transformative effect on the lives of millions of American children. Extending the full benefit of the child tax credit to families whose earnings are too low to fully qualify under current law would lift millions of children out of poverty. Boosting these families’ incomes would not only improve their well-being now, but it promises to have lasting positive effects on their educational attainment, health, and earnings later in life.

We also commend the committee for including a larger credit for parents of children under the age of 4 in recognition of the unique costs of raising young children. Other important improvements in the bill that we have long urged include strengthening the earned income tax credit (EITC) for workers without dependent children, including noncustodial parents, and extending these vital credits to Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

Seth Hanlon, senior fellow at the Center, added:

The 2017 tax law expanded the child tax credit, but it left behind millions of the hardest-pressed families—and it wasted an opportunity to strengthen the childless EITC despite the purportedly strong support of then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. By investing in the families and workers left behind, the Economic Mobility Act shows what real tax reform looks like. And as the legislation moves forward, the U.S. House of Representatives can take a further step toward a fairer tax code by rolling back giveaways to the wealthy and corporations that were enacted in the 2017 tax bill—which would be more than sufficient to offset the fiscal cost of the tax credit expansions.

The Center for American Progress proposed making the child tax credit fully refundable and adding a young-child component in a 2015 report and incorporated the proposal in a recent budget plan.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at [email protected] or 202.495.3682.