WASHINGTON, DC – Ahead of tax day and the IRS Commissioner’s annual appearance before the Senate and House today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) led 46 Senators in introducing the Working Families Tax Relief Act.
At a time when wages are stagnant and the cost of childcare has exploded, the Working Families Tax Relief Act would cut taxes for workers and families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). EITC and CTC are two of the most effective tools we have to put money in the pockets of working people and pull children out of poverty. Expanding them will give millions more Americans a foothold in the middle class.
Meanwhile, Americans are filing their taxes and more people are seeing President Trump’s and the Congressional Republicans’ tax scam for what it really was – a handout to millionaires and billionaires at the expense of working families. The Working Families Tax Relief Act would cut taxes for workers and families left behind by the President’s tax law.
“All across the country, families are working harder than ever but have less and less to show for it. Corporate profits have soared, executive compensation has exploded, but wages are flat. Meanwhile the cost of everything from healthcare to education and housing is up,” said Brown. “Our bill would help put more money back in the pockets of working families and set children up for future success.”
“We’ve had 40 years when almost all economic growth has gone to the very top, and 9 out of 10 Americans have seen very little benefit. Wages aren’t rising enough for most families to afford some combination of housing, healthcare, child care, or higher education. We need to rewrite the tax code in a way that benefits working families – and expanding the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit is an effective path to achieve that,” said Bennet.
“We need to give families more tools to help make ends meet and make it easier for them to care for their children—and the Working Families Tax Relief Act would do exactly that,” Durbin said. “The Trump tax scam was a handout to billionaires and corporations. My colleagues and I are committed to making sure our tax system is fair to the millions of families who were left behind.”
“Putting more money in the pockets of working people so that they can keep food on the table and a roof over their heads is the best way to ensure they need less government assistance instead of more. In my state, more than half a million children and 1.4 million Oregonians would benefit from our bill. At a time when 40 percent of Americans can’t cover $400 in an emergency and wages have barely budged, Congress needs to do more to help working families make ends meet,” said Wyden.
The Senators were joined at the press conference by Arizona teacher and mother, Julie Groce, whose family relies on the EITC and CTC to get by.
“Having a one-year-old is incredibly expensive. Between diapers, doctor’s visits, childcare, and more, we struggle to cover everything we need,” Groce said. “We do all we can to make every dollar count, but there are still months where we’re worried about paying all our bills. It’s frustrating and stressful every day. The current Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are essential for us, and they go straight to necessities like childcare, health care, paying down debt and building our savings. But it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what we need, especially because these credits don’t account for the expenses we face with a child who is so young. By expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and creating a fully refundable Child Tax Credit with a young child boost, the Working Families Tax Relief Act would be an incredible help to my family and so many others. It would ease so much of the financial stress we face during this special time in our child’s life.”
The Working Families Tax Relief Act would:
- Boost the incomes of 46 million households and 114 million people, including 43 million children.
- Lift 7 million people out of poverty, including 3 million children.
- Expand the EITC for families with children by roughly 25 percent.
- Significantly expand the EITC for workers without children and make the credit available for people starting at age 19 up to age 67. Currently, workers without children can be pulled under the poverty line by taxes. Expanding the EITC would fix that.
- Make the CTC fully refundable, so the more than 26 million children who were left out of the Trump tax law get the support they deserve.
- Create a Young Child Tax Credit to provide extra support to children five and under, when research says they need it most.
- Allow workers to draw a $500 advance payment on their EITC so that families aren’t forced to turn to predatory payday lenders when the car breaks down or other unexpected expenses come up.
Read more about the bill HERE.
Along with Senators Brown, Bennet, Durbin and Wyden, cosponsors of the bill include: Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bob Menendez (NJ), Benjamin Cardin (MD) Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D- PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D0-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tina Smith (MN), Doug Jones (AL) and Jacky Rosen (NV).