Pull out all your advocate tools for the Child Tax Credit 


March 26, 2024

Editor’s note: Our friends at RESULTS have assembled this helpful package for advocates who want to urge members of Congress to reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). This package was prepared by Jos Linn, RESULTS Associate Director of Grassroots Impact, and is cross-posted with permission. 

By Jos Linn
In his State of the Union address earlier this month, President Biden called on Congress to restore the fully expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). This version of the CTC is similar but not identical to one enacted for 2021 only and that cut child poverty by more than a third. The President also proposed restoring the 2021 CTC in his FY2025 budget proposal. The President is clearly aware of the transformational impact the 2021 CTC had for millions of children and families. He is right to want it again. 

We can take a big step toward the President’s (and RESULTS’) goal by convincing the Senate to pass H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act. This bill would increase the CTC for 16 million children in families with low incomes and help the families of half a million children lift themselves from poverty. 

And, it is time to hold senators accountable. It has been nearly two months since the House passed H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act. That’s two months that 16 million children and their families have not benefitted from an increased Child Tax Credit (CTC). That’s two months that 500,000 experiencing poverty have waited for help. That’s two months that senators have put political ambitions ahead of helping constituents. 

It is becoming clearer that the Senate debate over this bill is not about policy, it is about politics. Opponents of the CTC expansion are using specious arguments and delay to hasten the bill to a quiet death. Meanwhile, Senate leadership is reluctant to call a vote for fear of losing the vote. Delays and avoidance are unbecoming of the Senate. Sometimes, it’s about fighting the fights that need fighting more than just fighting the fights you can win. 

Accountability matters. It is time for the Senate to vote. If H.R. 7024 passes, it is a victory for families. If it does not, then at least constituents know where their senators stand. Many Republican senators say privately that they support the bill, but they are staying quiet for now in deference to Senate leaders. It is frustrating that a bill that has strong bipartisan support and will help a lot of kids is falling victim to power politics. 

Which is why it is up to us to again break the stalemate. We need to convince more senators to speak out publicly in support of the bill and to call on leadership to bring it to a vote. 

TAKE ACTION: The Senate is on recess until April 8. Use these two weeks to be loud about reducing child poverty through the new CTC expansion. Tell senators you want to see a vote on the bill as soon as they return to Washington. Please take all or some of these actions during the recess. Get lobby meetings. If you have not set up lobby meetings with your senators – Republican or Democrat – please do so now. Ask for meetings as soon as possible to talk about the CTC.  

Connect with tax aides. Contact Senate tax aides again reminding their bosses to pass H.R. 7024 as soon as they get back. Share new data on the impact of the proposed CTC expansion on young children. For Democratic senators, tell them to urge Sen. Schumer to schedule a vote on the bill for the week of April 8 and to vote YES on the bill when it comes to a vote. For Republican senators, urge them to speak out publicly in favor of the bill and privately push Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) to stop blocking efforts to pass the bill. Use our CTC congressional requestfor messaging or contact RESULTS staff for assistance. 

Submit letters to the editor. Call on your senators in the media to pass the CTC expansion now. If you need help, use our online CTC media alert to send a letter to the editor today. 

Urge others to e-mail senators. Urge your friends, family, and action networks to e-mail their senators urging them to schedule a vote and pass the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act.