Representatives Tlaib & Jones Introduce Universal Child Benefit to Cut Child Poverty by Nearly Two-Thirds

Feb 03, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — February marks the first month that millions of families across the country will go without the expanded child tax credit that was passed in the American Rescue Plan. As families look for further relief, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Congressman Mondaire Jones (NY-17) introduced today the End Child Poverty Act to create a universal child benefit that would be more generous than the child provisions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the existing child tax credit (CTC).  

“Child poverty is a critical issue in the United States and I am proud to join Congressman Jones in introducing this universal child benefit that will surely make it easier for working class people to afford necessities like diapers and childcare, and provide a long overdue safety net for our nation’s families and children,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “One out of five children live in poverty in Michigan and saw the benefit of the child tax credit on our families. Too many families are now going without help after the Senate failed in extended the CTC and they deserve to have solutions in their government that will ensure that food is on their table and a roof is over their head.” 

“In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no child should be living in poverty,” said Congressman Jones. “But today, due to decades of policy failure, far too many children in America are. We know how to solve this problem; the expanded Child Tax Credit that I helped to pass last year cut child poverty in half. But with the Senate failing to extend the CTC, we must do more to protect our young people. By creating a universal, monthly child allowance, the End Child Poverty Act will do exactly that – ensuring every child has the resources and support they need to reach their full potential. I’m proud to introduce this critical legislation, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure every child and family can live in dignity.”

The End Child Poverty Act would replace the child tax credit and the child provisions in the EITC with a universal child benefit that would provide a $393 per child/per month payment to families. This program would be universal and include no income phase-ins or phase-outs. Children will be automatically enrolled at birth, and every family would receive a monthly payment for every child they are currently caring for between the ages of 0 and 18. The payment would be distributed by the Social Security Administration. 

The End Child Poverty Act is endorsed by: Mothering Justice, Michigan United, People’s Policy Project, Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, and We the People Michigan.  

Estimates produced by the People’s Policy Project show that this change would cut child poverty by 64% and cut deep child poverty by 70%.

“This universal child benefit proposal would dramatically simplify our nation’s child benefit system and provide financial security for all families when they have a child,” said Matt Bruenig, founder of the People’s Policy Project

“The universal child benefit provided by the End Child Poverty Act would be a lifeline for families across the country who are living in poverty and those living paycheck to paycheck,” said Danielle Atkinson, founder and national executive director for Mothering Justice. “Congresswoman Tlaib and Congressman Jones are putting forth a bold and inclusive policy that would dramatically reduce child poverty and give families the opportunity to thrive. We are proud to endorse this legislation at Mothering Justice.” 

More information about the bill can be found here. The full bill text can be viewed here.

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