CLEVELAND, OH – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as he continues fighting to put money back in the pockets of working Ohioans in any future stimulus package. Brown continues his efforts to put the needs of working families in Ohio, facing the economic consequences of coronavirus, over Wall Street. 

“The fastest and simplest way to help Ohio workers and families is to put money directly in people’s pockets. It helps people pay the bills, stay in their homes, and get through this downturn. And it injects money into local economies that desperately need it – the more money people have, the more they can spend at small businesses that are hurting right now. That’s why I’m fighting for policies that put money in the pockets of working families in the next relief package,” said Brown.

Brown led a letter to Senate Leaders calling for a temporary expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in the next coronavirus relief package. Together, these expansions will put money back in the pockets of working Americans and provide support to the workers and families who will be hit the hardest and affected the longest by this crisis.

The letter calls for filling gaps in the EITC and CTC that leave out the youngest adult workers, workers not raising children in the home, and the lowest-income families. Current gaps mean 5 million American workers are taxed into or further into poverty by our current tax code. Expanding the EITC for these workers would fix this. The letter also calls for making the CTC fully available to all children as a refundable credit and increasing the credit amount for kids under 6 years of age, to provide additional support to children and families at a time in life that is critical for cognitive development. Together, these expansions will provide support to the workers and families who will be hit the hardest and affected the longest by this crisis.

Brown was joined on the call by Lita Wells, Director of Impact for the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. The United Way provides tax filing assistance for residents of the Valley and helps residents access important tax credits like EITC.

“In the Mahoning Valley, in January our two largest cities, Youngstown and Warren posted the Number 1 and Number 2 highest unemployment rates in the State. For areas like ours that are already struggling, the immediate impact of COVID19 and its aftermath will be devastating, unless significant measures are taken now to address these critical financial needs. Expanding the eligibility for EITC and CTC for our youngest workers, low income families, as well as low income working seniors is an action that can help our community brace for what will surely be an uphill battle,” said Ms. Wells on the call.

Brown is also pushing for another round of stimulus checks in any future stimulus package to help Americans hurting financially due to COVID-19.

He also continues pushing for Pandemic Premium Pay for Ohio workers on the frontlines of the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, Brown and Senate Democrats released their plan for a ‘Heroes Fund,’ which would help reward, retain and recruit essential workers who are on the frontlines of this pandemic.