STATEMENT: The Family Security Act Demonstrates There Is Bipartisan Urgency in Addressing Child Poverty

Washington, D.C. —  Yesterday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced the Family Security Act, which would provide a monthly benefit of $350 a month for young children and $250 a month for school-aged children. Crucially, the Family Security Act is not dependent on earnings, meaning that unlike the existing Child Tax Credit families with little or no federal income tax liability, who are often experiencing the worst poverty, would benefit. In a 2015 report, the Center for American Progress proposed making the child tax credit fully refundable, paid monthly, and inclusive of a young child component.

Following the announcement of the Family Security Act, Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines, vice president of the Poverty to Prosperity Program, released the following statement:

It’s encouraging to see strong, bipartisan support to reduce child poverty, especially at a time when so many families are struggling under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic. Expanding the child tax credit is one of the most powerful ways we can reduce child poverty and supercharge economic mobility. It is most effective when accompanied by existing anti-poverty programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and nutrition assistance. As the country recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, we hope the new Congress and administration make alleviating poverty and strengthening the social safety net a priority.

Seth Hanlon, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, added:

Sen. Romney should be commended for putting forward a bold proposal to reduce child poverty. The Family Security Act demonstrates that there is a bipartisan sense of urgency in addressing child poverty and raises hopes that we can establish a universal child allowance on a permanent basis, which is one of the best investments we can make as a country. Pairing child tax credits with existing social safety net programs will help increase economic security for millions of families. As the nation recovers from the pandemic and its economic fallout, the first, urgently needed step in that direction is to make the child tax credit fully refundable and bigger this year. That is a key part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which is estimated to cut child poverty in half.

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