CLASP Urges Bipartisan Tax Proposal to Address Child Poverty and Racial Inequality

This statement can be attributed to Indivar Dutta-Gupta, president and executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy.

Washington DC, January 16, 2024—Given the unconscionable spike in child poverty rates after the end of the powerful enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) in 2021, CLASP supports the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. This bipartisan tax proposal makes a meaningful step toward a fully refundable and inclusive CTC.

While the bill’s version of the CTC falls short of what children deserve, and what Congress correctly enacted for 2021, it will significantly reduce poverty and racial inequality compared to current law. About 19 million children don’t currently receive the credit’s maximum benefit because their parents’ earnings are too low. Our partners at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimate that the bill would help 80 percent—or roughly 16 million—of those children. The changes would also promote racial equity, given that the children who don’t receive the full credit are disproportionately Black and brown. Racial inequities like those related to basic living standards for children continue to undermine our nation’s potential, costing many communities of color and our nation dearly.

CBPP estimates that in the policy’s first year, 400,000 children would escape poverty and an additional 3 million in poor households would have their families’ incomes raised.

CLASP continues to urge Congress to enact a fully equitable CTC that is even stronger than the 2021 credit, with improvements such as including children with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, as I testified in July. This compromise is a down payment toward a fully refundable and inclusive CTC, one that our nation urgently needs. We’ve turned our back on millions of children who are again experiencing poverty. Passing this bill will position advocates for children and families well to fight for a truly just and evidence-based credit in 2025 when many of the provisions of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act expire.


(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)