NY Congressional Representatives Demand Congress Oppose Corporate Tax Breaks

December 10, 2022

 Today, U.S. Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY-15,) joined direct service organizations, anti-poverty and immigration advocates, families, faith leaders, and lawmakers to call for the expanded, monthly Child Tax Credit.

Attendees demanded that congressional leadership in Washington oppose any new tax breaks for wealthy corporations in their year-end spending bill unless passed together with relief for working families.

The event follows a recent letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) signed by over 100 organizations from New York State, which urged the Senator to prioritize expanding both the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.

You can see the livestream on this Facebook page [UPDATED LINK HERE]

This rally follows recent statements made on behalf of the White House indicating that President Biden believes “any bill that cuts taxes for a big corporation must also […] cut taxes for working families.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, the New Democrat Coalition, and a group of recently elected Representatives in the House – three groups that represent nearly half of the Democratic Caucus in the House – have also sent two separate letters either urging House leadership to prioritize the enhanced Child Tax Credit and/or oppose any new tax breaks for wealthy corporations unless passed together with the expanded, monthly Child Tax Credit.

These champions join hundreds of advocacy organizations involved in racial justice and civil rightshunger and nutrition securitysmall business interestsveteran and military family support, and more who are all calling on Congress to revive the expanded Child Tax Credit.

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“One of the first things I was blessed to do when I got to Congress was to vote in favor of the American Rescue Plan, which reduced poverty by 50% for a year. I heard stories from constituents about how it changed their lives. It changed lives across the district, it changed lives across the country. If you care about the wellbeing of our country then we need to end child poverty now. I’m calling on my colleagues in Congress to make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent before the end of this year,” said Representative Jamaal Bowman (NY-16).

“My district is known to be the poorest congressional district in America and there is no single policy that would do more to lift the South Bronx out of poverty than an expansion of the child tax credit,” said Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “The child tax credit would do for children what social security and Medicare did for senior citizens. It would end extreme poverty for the most vulnerable Americans by cutting child poverty in half. We know we have the tools to pull millions of children out of poverty – the time for action is now. I am proud to join the Children’s Defense Fund of New York in the fight to restore the child tax credit once and for all.”

“The Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are great tools for fighting child poverty in this country,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Expanding tax breaks for corporations without expanding the CTC and EITC wouldn’t be fair to our middle-class families looking to keep their heads up above water. Just as we need resources for roads and bridges, we also need to invest in the future of America’s middle class, and that entails expanding the CTC and EITC.”

“Families across the nation know first-hand the benefits given and burdens lifted by the Child Tax Credit. For their children whose futures rely on this credit’s much-needed support, it is beyond imperative we take action to deliver it. Fortunately, I am far from alone in that sentiment. My special thanks today goes to the Children’s Defense Fund and every stalwart advocate standing at their side for fighting on behalf of America’s families and their prosperity. There is no cause more noble than the security of our children, and I am so very gracious that the preservation of this vital tax credit is being treated as the priority it is,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9).

“Investments in our kids have unparalleled benefits for our communities, our economy, and the future of our nation. We saw these benefits in Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, which delivered the Child Tax Credit that put money in the pockets of hardworking parents and lifted millions of children out of poverty. This life changing credit has since expired, leaving millions of Americans without key resources they need to support their families. We must take action to restore this vital benefit and ensure every child can look forward to a brighter future,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20).

“No child should be living in poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth,” said Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY). “But due to decades of policy failure, this is the plight of far too many American children. Last year, I helped pass an expanded Child Tax Credit that cut child poverty in half for thousands of families in NY17 and millions more across the country. This was a historic leap forward, but we can, and we must, do more. We have to continue this fight and renew the expanded Child Tax Credit to guarantee that every child has the resources, support, and opportunities they deserve.”

“The fact that one in five New York children live in poverty in one of the wealthiest states in the richest country in the history of the world – with New York’s children of color disparately impacted – is an economic failure, a racial injustice and a moral abomination.  Child poverty is not inevitable.  It is, and always has been, a clear policy choice,” said Kercena A. Dozier, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund – New York. “ In its annual budget process, Congress has the opportunity to restore the expanded, monthly Child Tax Credit before the end of the year.  The Children’s Defense Fund – New York implores Congress to take action – and, in doing so, to make the right policy choice for our most marginalized children and families.”

“Every day our elected leaders make the policy choice to keep nearly 20% of our children in poverty,” said Kate Breslin, President and CEO of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy. “Children living in poverty experience worse physical, mental, and developmental health than their peers, along with harms to education and social mobility.Strengthening these credits is one of many actions to help end child poverty once and for all. It’s time for our elected leaders to make a new policy choice: Congress must strengthen the Child Tax Credit before considering corporate or other tax breaks.”

“There is no excuse for giving tax cuts to corporations who have brought in record profits at the expense of their communities, while leaving out hard-working families struggling to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. Immigrant children make up 41% of children living in poverty in New York State. The federal government must renew the expanded child tax credit now,” said Liza Schwartzwald, Senior Manager of Economic Justice and Family Empowerment, New York Immigration Coalition.

“Parents from all over the state are demanding that congress prioritize children over corporations before the end of the year. Families continue to struggle while corporations bring in record profits,” said Rebecca Bailin, Deputy State Campaigns Director at Economic Security Project Action. “It is critical that our federal government bring back the expanded Child Tax Credit and provide necessary relief to so many families.”

“As a pediatrician, I have seen the toll of poverty on children, affecting their ability to learn, to grow and to ultimately thrive,” said Benard P. Dreyer, MD, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “Poverty negatively impacts every aspect of child development, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and academic. We, as one of the richest nations in the world, have become entirely too complacent in our acceptance of child poverty. Giving families back the federal Expanded and Refundable Child Tax Credit we offered last year would make a major difference in the lives of millions of children and families.  We saw the impressive reduction in child poverty while the Expanded credit was in place.  Hunger and food insecurity were also greatly reduced. We also saw the return to 20% of children once again living in poverty once it was eliminated. We are here today to urge Congress to restore the Federal Expanded Child Tax Credit now, while they still have the votes to get it done for the children and families across our country.”

“At The Riverside Church we believe the children are our future AND we believe the children are our present. Children are our right now, and they need our support…right now,” said Reverend Adriene Thorne, Senior Minister at the Riverside Church in the City of New York. “Riverside Church stands with the Children’s Defense Fund NY in our shared and urgent call to expand the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In this Christmas season that celebrates the birth of baby Jesus, let us, as a nation, rush to take care of babies before businesses and corporations.”

“Our faith implores us to put children before corporations. When Jesus said ‘let the little children come to me’ he meant all children. He meant let us work together to create a society where children can flourish. This holiday season, let’s give the gift of investing in our collective future; our children and families. Middle Church stands with the call to Extend the Child Tax Credit now,” said Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft | Community Minister, Middle Collegiate Church.

“This investment in children and families will pay dividends. We know that family economic setbacks predict child welfare involvement and that states with weak safety nets end up with more children in foster care. That adds the trauma of family separation to the stresses of poverty. And the federal government foots the bill for foster care. Our federal dollars need to work for families, not against them. It’s time to reinstate the Child Tax Credit and to stand with healthy families and flourishing communities.” said Nora McCarthy, Co-Founder, NYC Family Policy Project 

“The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is an example of true primary prevention, reaching many families before they are in crisis and even lifting many out of poverty,” said Timothy Hathaway, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse NY. “PCANY calls on Congress to extend the CTC now and help alleviate stress for families in the new year and beyond. Cash in hand, in the form of the CTC, is a Protective Factor — a concrete support in times of need. Economic security is key to family stability — helping to alleviate parental stress, and promoting child well-being. All families need help — with child care, with housing, and with meeting basic needs like food and clothing. Especially now, as we emerge from the pandemic, families, even those in the so-called “middle class,” are struggling under the weight of inflation.” 

“Families in New York and across the nation are at a critical juncture. Census Pulse survey data illustrates the disproportionate impact of job and income loss on households of color and underscores the unacceptably large proportion of families facing food insecurity, housing insecurity, and difficulty meeting basic needs,” said Alice Bufkin, Associate Executive Director for Policy and Advocacy of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. “Critically, the data also reveals the transformational impact that tax credit reforms have had on families in New York and across the nation. The temporary expansion of the child allowance not only helped households meet pressing socio-economic needs; when combined with other benefits, it also contributed to cutting the nation’s child poverty rate by more than 40 percent.  It is incumbent upon federal policymakers to permanently expand the federal Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Our federal leaders must prioritize child and family well-being and implement commonsense policies that reduce child poverty.” 

“We know what works! Children and families throughout New York State used the Child tax Credit (CTC) for basic everyday necessities,” said Allison Lake, Executive Director of the Westchester Children’s Association. “This is especially important in a county like Westchester with a high cost of living, where 40% of our neighbors live in poverty or paycheck – to -paycheck. And we know a disproportionate number of poor and low-income children are from single parent families, as well as Black and Hispanic households – CTC expansion will foster greater equity. The time is now to put children first.”

“Child poverty is a choice – not an inevitability. And it is a choice that the National Academy of Sciences estimates costs our nation upwards of $1.1 trillion every year in the lost economic potential of our children,” said Jason Cone, Chief Public Policy Officer of Robin Hood. “Expanding the federal Child Tax Credit – as was done temporarily through the American Rescue Plan Act — is one of the most effective ways to immediately cut child poverty. Peer-reviewed research has shown that it has one of the strongest returns on investment of any social policy reform. Yet, in New York state alone, nearly 1.1 million children live in families with incomes too low to benefit from the current Child Tax Credit. We urge Congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to act now to fix this gaping hole in our nation’s most effective poverty-fighting tool by expanding the CTC to be fully refundable for all low-income children.” 

“Our high child poverty rate is a choice. Senate Majority Leader Schumer and other Congressional leaders have the power to make a different choice this session. The Children’s Agenda’s polls of 400 Monroe County parents earlier this year showed that more than half said affording necessities like health care and child care are among their families’ most important issues, and an astounding 90% support providing tax credits to families with young children.  Put kids first. There should be no expanded tax breaks for corporations without first expanding tax credits that directly benefit children.” said Larry Marx, CEO, of The Children’s Agenda. 

“Every year as we help thousands of households file their taxes through our free volunteer-driven income tax assistance program, we see first-hand the power of the Child Tax Credit to lift families with children out of poverty”,  said Leslie Gordon, President, and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “Congressional action significantly reduced child poverty by more than 40% between 2020-2021, but today the families of 19 million children are no longer receiving additional needed support. As families in New York and across the country continue to face elevated food insecurity, our leaders in Washington, DC can take immediate action to address child poverty by expanding the Child Tax Credit,” said Leslie Gordon, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. 

“In our work have supporting hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers with their tax returns, we have seen the tremendous impact that the monthly Child Tax Credit payments have had, and how effective it can be as a way to lift children and families of poverty,” said Yversha Roman, director of Empire Justice Center’s CASH program in Rochester.  CASH uses the income tax prep moment to help ensure people receive all the tax credits they are eligible for and to connect with other resources, including legal assistance.  “We ask our Congressional leaders to put children first and make it easier for their families to pay for clothing, gas, rent, and food by extending and expanding the child tax credit.” said Yversha Roman, Empire Justice Center.

“The rising costs of everyday living continue to create barriers for families in New York. Many families continue to struggle to pay for regular expenses, with Black, Latinx, and immigrant families and families with infants and toddlers experiencing an even higher proportion of this burden. Economic security is crucial to supporting the growth and development of young children because it has a direct impact on their potential to learn throughout childhood and into adulthood. The temporary expansion of the child tax credit as part of the American Rescue Plan Act was one of the most effective anti-poverty initiatives in history, as almost 3 million children nationally were lifted out of poverty. The impact of increasing and expanding coverage of the federal Child Tax Credit cannot be stressed enough; increased economic support to families, including the most vulnerable, will have a tremendous impact on the growth, development, and success of the next generation of New Yorkers. We strongly urge our Congressional leaders to prioritize the health and well-being of our children today,” said Dia Bryant, Executive Director, The Education Trust–NY.

“We urge the decision makers today to invest in families by reviving the expanded, monthly Child Tax Credit. It is the most immediate, meaningful, and direct tool to help families afford the rising cost of living in the United States. Parents at Rise have used the monthly tax credit to pay for rising childcare costs to prevent ACS Investigations for lack of childcare. Put Families First!” said Halimah Washington, Project Manager, Rise.  

Economic Security Project Action mobilizes resources and people behind ideas that build economic power for all Americans.

As an ideas advocacy organization, we legitimize our issues by supporting cutting-edge research and elevating champions, win concrete policy victories for the communities that need to see change now, and provoke the conventional wisdom to shift what’s considered possible.

Our team of academics, organizers, practitioners, and culture makers disburse grants, run issue campaigns, develop creative interventions and research products to support the field, and coordinate events to encourage investment and action from others.

For more information about the Economic Security Project Action, visit: https://economicsecurity.us/

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