Members of Congress, President Biden and Vice President Harris:
We urge that Child Tax Credits go to mothers or other primary caregivers, leading to a permanent child cash benefit, and for the $15/hour minimum wage campaign promise to be honored.
Seventy percent of the poor in the US are women and children.1 After decades of women’s campaigning against the poverty of children and their mothers, we are encouraged that President Biden’s American Rescue Plan includes a fully refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC). The CTC would pay millions of families $3600 a year ($300/mo.) per child under six and $3000 a year ($250/mo.) per child six to 17, reducing (but shockingly not eliminating) deep poverty among children.2,3
We call on you to ensure that:
- The Child Tax Credit goes to the mother or other primary caregiver. This is the only assurance that children will benefit, and it begins to recognize and support the vital caring work mothers do. It will also help mothers to protect themselves and their children from domestic violence, which is widespread.4
- It leads to the establishment of a permanent child cash benefit.
- All primary caregivers are eligible, including those receiving benefits, or who have no income, or are homeless, or are undocumented ITIN filers.5
- It is easy to access for all families, especially those without bank accounts.
- It cannot be used to cut benefits or garnished to pay debts.
- The commitment of the Biden/Harris campaign to pass a $15/hour minimum wage is honored, especially but not only because 59% of low-waged workers are women, disproportionately single mothers and women of color.6
Issued by Care Income Now/Election Action for Caregivers (EAC).
In October 2020 Election Action for Caregivers wrote to then-candidate Biden asking him to support the American Family Act (AFA). We are pleased that he modeled the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan on the AFA, increasing the amount paid to families. Care Income Now/EAC was convened by the Global Women’s Strike (GWS) and Women of Color/GWS. email@example.com
1 Legal Momentum, The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, Women and Poverty in America.
2 Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy, A Poverty Reduction Analysis of the American Family Act, Jan 25, 2021. They estimate that deep poverty would be reduced by 49% overall.
3 The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (PPC) challenges current poverty measures which undercount the numbers of poor people. The PPC estimates that even before the pandemic there were 140 million poor and low-wealth people in the US, including half of all children (38.5 million children), so the full impact of child tax credits on the number of children living in poverty is uncertain.
4 1 in 4 women suffer from domestic violence.
6 Economic Policy Institute, Why the U.S. needs a $15 minimum wage, Jan 26, 2021. Nearly two-thirds or 65% of mothers paid less than minimum wage in the US are single mothers. (Center for American Progress, Raising the Minimum Wage is Key to Supporting the Breadwinning Mothers Who Drive the Economy, Feb 23, 2021.) Among Black mothers in the low-waged workforce, 84% are sole or primary breadwinners. (National Women’s Law Center, When Hard Work is Not Enough: Women in Low Paid Jobs, April 2020.)