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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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July 30, 2021


Raoul, 22 AGs Argue Tax Credit Will Lift Millions of Children Out of Poverty; Should Be Priority in Reconciliation Bill

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 23 attorneys general, urged Congress to permanently extend the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), which provides a systemic solution that would lift millions of children out of poverty.

In a letter to congressional leadership, Raoul and the coalition call on Congress to permanently extend the expanded CTC in the upcoming reconciliation package arguing the CTC addresses the wide range of harms and costs childhood poverty has on children, families and state governments. Raoul and the coalition are calling on Congress to offer a federal solution through a permanent, expanded and fully-refundable CTC.

“The expanded Child Tax Credit has helped families navigate the current economic crisis by providing financial support that has helped reduce food and housing insecurity,” Raoul said. “Childhood poverty has lifelong effects, and I encourage Congress to permanently extend the expanded Child Tax Credit to give children the support that will help them grow, develop and succeed in academics and beyond.”

One in seven children in the U.S. lives in poverty. Children from low-income households face higher rates of food and housing insecurity, poor health outcomes, and fewer opportunities for academic and career success. Childhood poverty also has negative fiscal impacts on states, for example by requiring additional health care and special education spending, increasing costs of child protective services and criminal justice, and decreasing tax payments and revenue.

In the letter, Raoul and the attorneys general state a permanent, expanded, fully-refundable CTC would lift around half of the nation’s low-income children out of poverty and benefit millions of children and their families. Raoul and the coalition argue that the CTC improves infant health, increases the likelihood students will finish high school, enroll in post-secondary programs, and later earn higher incomes in adulthood. State governments benefit in turn, through increased consumer spending and decreased government spending on costs such as health care and special education.

Raoul and the attorneys general also urge Congress to provide sufficient funding to raise public awareness about the CTC and make it easier for families to navigate the sign-up process. The additional funding would help ensure that the CTC reaches the most vulnerable families and communities around the country.

Joining Raoul in sending the letter are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

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