Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World is disappointed with the House’s passage of the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act. The House of Representatives voted 237 to 173 in favor of H.R. 4935 today. It gives wealthier families extended child tax credit (CTC) benefits while cutting the credit for lower-income working families. The bill also requires parents to use a Social Security number rather than an individual taxpayer identification number to claim the credit.
Bread for the World president, Rev. David Beckmann, issued the following statement in response:
“We are disappointed that the House found it acceptable to cut one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in our country while granting a larger benefit for higher-income households.
“Congress must continue the 2009 revisions in any final child tax credit bill. Because of those improvements, millions of parents are better able to put food on the table and raise their children. But with the House bill, these six million children will suffer while a family earning between $100,000 and $200,000 per year gets an extra $550 more.
“It is unacceptable that we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world and have one of the highest child poverty rates among developed countries. Our policies should help lower-income working families climb out of poverty – not push them deeper into it.
“As a Christian, I find this outrageous. Our faith calls us to clothe and feed struggling families, not take their clothes and meals away. Our faith also calls us to treat well those who sojourn in our lands—not rob them of their food because they lack a Social Security card.
“We will continue to urge our leaders not to institute these reverse Robin Hood-style policies but instead to focus on eradicating hunger and poverty. We will be vigilant as Congress takes up other tax-extender legislation during this lame-duck session.”