Leading Moms Group Endorses American Family Act
WASHINGTON, DC – At a news conference today at which U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) re-introduced the American Family Act, MomsRising member Jessica Morrison discussed how the high cost of child care has affected her family. Morrison, a Philadelphia-area resident with a four-year-old, is pregnant with her second child. Morrison’s partner now drives nights for Uber and Lyft in order to care for their four-year-old daughter four days a week, while Jessica is at her job. The children’s grandmother also provides care one day per week, but she lives far from the family, necessitating a long drive each time. The family’s income has taken a considerable hit and they will become even more financially strapped when their new baby is born next month.
“The American Family Act would provide a significant boost to struggling low- and moderate-income families by increasing the Child Tax Credit, making it fully refundable, and supporting families raising young children,” said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO of MomsRising, an online and on-the-ground organization of more than one million mothers and their families. “This, in turn, would help reduce the number of children living in poverty and help parents work. We thank Senators Bennet and Brown for championing this bill in the U.S. Senate and Representatives DeLauro and DelBenne for doing so in the House of Representatives. Its passage is an urgent priority for America’s moms, and it should be for Congress too.”
“Raising a child is expensive and raising a child under 6 is even more so, with the additional costs of child care, diapers, and extra doctor’s visits. In 30 states and the District of Columbia, infant care now costs more than college tuition. The high cost of child care is a crisis for millions of working families, denying them economic security and reshaping their lives,” added Donna Norton, executive vice president of MomsRising, who attended the news conference with Morrison. “This forces many working parents to choose between providing for their families and paying for care. The last Congress passed a grossly irresponsible tax cut that benefited mega-corporations and the ultra-wealthy, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves and plunging the country deeper into debt. Moms like Jessica want this Congress to boost working families. The American Family Act would do just that by helping families afford the child care they need.”
The American Family Act would:
- Create a new $300 per month young child tax credit for children under age 6;
- Increase the maximum Child Tax Credit (CTC) to $250 per month for children under age 17;
- Make credits fully refundable. The bill would make the CTC fully refundable, meaning all low-income families would receive the full credit for each child;
- Index the maximum credit amount for inflation;
- Set up payments on a monthly basis, so families have reliable support they can count on, helping families smooth their incomes; and
- Benefit middle-class children as well, in households earning up to $150,000 of income for individuals and $200,000 for married couples filing jointly.
“If Congress passes the American Family Act, our lives would improve,” Morrison said. “If we had more resources to pay for child care and other expenses, we could both remain in the workforce, working the hours we need to, in jobs that give us a chance to get ahead while also spending more time bonding as a family. We could pay down the debts we end up accruing. On an emotional level, it would take a huge amount of stress off our shoulders, and we would get to enjoy more precious family time at a crucial time in our children’s development. The Child Tax Credit has not kept up with inflation and the rising cost of living. What’s more, it doesn’t account for the specific needs we have as a family that will soon have two children under 6 years old. The American Family Act would make a big difference for us by fixing these gaps.”