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Act Now: Tell Congress to Cut Child Poverty in Half by Permanently Extending the Child Tax Credit

Dear colleagues,

PHI has worked hard for over 55 years to ensure equitable access to the vital conditions for life. We explain and advocate for the social determinants of health, systemic factors that often determine who is healthy and who has barriers to health. Childhood poverty is one of the most critical indicators of health. Children in poverty face barriers to access healthy food, to healthy and safe places to live, and to early childhood learning opportunities that prepare them for success in school and future employment. Resources for parents, along with other supportive policies, are critical to ending child poverty and dismantling the barriers to health and opportunity for every child.

That’s why I support making the Child Tax Credit permanent, and I am asking you to join me. 

One third of all adults with children have a hard time paying their regular expenses. Making the Child Tax Credit permanent would provide a major tax cut to 39 million homes, and nearly 90 percent of American children. It would cut child poverty nearly in half. This is especially critical for the 61% of Latina and 85% of Black women who are either sole or co-breadwinners for their families.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) has been around for decades to help families afford the everyday expenses of raising children. It has historically been claimed at the time that a parent or caregiver files their taxes, and it has also had a serious gap: millions of families did not previously qualify for the CTC because, ironically, they earned too little.

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, expands and improves upon the CTC for one year, making it available to 23 million more children. This historic one-year program has successfully pulled 45% of children out of poverty: food insecurity improved, parents spent funds on clothes, school supplies, and medical and dental care. Of course, the impact of poverty does not get addressed in a year—this is a successful but temporary fix. This effort aligns with PHI’s support for deepening resources for public health infrastructure, and ensuring greater equity and health to all our children and families.

We need to have a permanent extension of the Child Tax Credit that has the power to significantly boost income security, reduce child poverty, advance racial equity, and create a public investment for the good of all children. There are many ways that you can show your support for the proposed continuation, including speaking with your local representative about your perspective about this cost-effective initiative.

Mary Pittman Mary A. Pittman
President & CEO
Public Health Institute


Act Now: Support the Child Tax Credit

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to speak with your Senators and Representative and ask them to support permanently expanding the Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan. Use these tools to look up your Senators and Representatives.

Use our talking points to guide your conversations. Remember to include who you are and why this issue is important to you (e.g. because you are a parent or caregiver).

  • All children deserve the opportunity to grow up safe, healthy and out of poverty. 
  • We need a permanent extension of the Child Tax Credit. The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000, providing 39 million households and the families of nearly 90 percent of American children a major tax cut and cutting child poverty nearly in half.
  • Extending the Child Tax Credit will support small business owners. New research from the Department of the Treasury shows that more than 3 million small business owners with children will benefit from these historic tax cuts.
  • The pandemic has heightened and exposed deep inequities in our country. This is a critical chance to provide relief to families and communities—now and in the future.

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