On Thursday, the Joe Biden campaign made official the most significant antipoverty proposal of his candidacy: making the child tax credit much bigger, and available to all parents as a monthly check.
The CTC expansion is based on a bill called the American Family Act, which grew out of Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) offices in 2017 amid the fight over Trump’s tax proposal. The AFA was reintroduced in 2019 by Bennet, Brown, and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA), with substantial support within the Democratic party: 38 of 47 Senate Democrats have sponsored or cosponsored it, as have 187 of 232 House Democrats.
Poverty among children would fall from 14.8 percent to 9.5 percent, meaning 4 million kids would escape poverty. Deep poverty — the share of kids living on half the poverty line or less — would fall almost by half, from 4.6 percent to 2.4 percent. The effects might be larger in 2020, when baseline poverty is likely to be higher in the absence of additional government relief measures to combat the recession.
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