WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of the Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan, which includes policies to cut child poverty, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2021, which would establish a national goal of reducing child poverty by half in 10 years and require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Census Bureau to annually track the progress toward that goal. In 2018, 11.9 million children were living in poverty. U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7) is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Whether they’re raised in families that are working harder than ever with less and less to show for it, or in overwhelmed and underfunded foster care programs, far too many children are brought up with the odds stacked against them. For Black and brown children, systemic racism often reinforces cycles of poverty. Building on the historic expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan, which is estimated to cut child poverty in half, this legislation is an important step toward ensuring that federal policies and programs actually work to reduce child poverty and promote the health, safety, and economic security for all children,” said Brown.

Poverty not only affects individual children, but also has broader societal effects, including higher spending on health care, increased rates of crime, reduced rates of education attainment and higher spending on remedial education. 

Brown has led efforts in Congress to reduce child poverty, including securing language in President Biden’s COVID Rescue Package that will expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). Based in part on Brown’s 2019 legislation, the Working Families Tax Relief Act, the expansion of these credits will help Ohioans who are hurting amid the COVID-19 pandemic by cutting taxes for working families and putting more money in their pockets amid the current economic downturn.