Washington, DC – May 9th, 2022 – Economic Security Project – alongside a coalition of U.S. Senators and advocates championing an expanded, monthly refundable Child Tax Credit – expressed their support for groundbreaking new research from Columbia University’s Center on Poverty & Social Policy, which concludes that monthly Child Tax Credit payments can keep dramatically more kids out of poverty each month than traditional annual payments, at essentially no additional cost.
“Imagine if, for the same amount of money, we could lift 30% more kids out of poverty each month,” said Natalie Foster, Economic Security Project Co-Chair. “Columbia University’s extraordinary work reinforces one of our longest held beliefs – that the Child Tax Credit has the power to change lives, even more so when it is distributed monthly. We all know rent comes once a month – why shouldn’t our tax credits?”
Columbia University’s research demonstrates that the Child Tax Credit significantly reduces poverty on an annual basis, no matter how it is delivered. However, their new report notes that current annual poverty metrics can often obscure fluctuations in poverty throughout the year. If Congress enacted the American Rescue Plan version of the Child Tax Credit – but dropped the monthly payments in favor of an annual lump sum – the anti-poverty effects would fade within a month or two of annual checks, and many families would once again have trouble meeting their basic needs. By contrast, monthly payments lift about one-third more children above the poverty line each month on average.
Alongside the Economic Security Project, several prominent U.S. Senators have voiced their support for Columbia University’s research.
- “After we expanded the Child Tax Credit last year, families received monthly payments to help pay for child care, put food on the table, and cover their rent or mortgage payments,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). “The costs of raising a family don’t wait for tax time — and this study shows the security of a monthly payment not only helped relieve some of the backbreaking stress parents face, but also made the Child Tax Credit a more effective poverty-fighting tool. As Coloradans continue to feel the effect of high costs, extending the Child Tax Credit expansion is the most effective step we can take to send families relief.”
- “The expanded, monthly child tax credit payments were a historic investment in the lives of working people that helped struggling parents put food on the table, cover child care costs, and buy school supplies,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). “Numerous academic studies such as this one underscore the extraordinary impact of the temporary improvements to the Child Tax Credit, especially their effect on lowering child poverty rates and increasing racial equity. As we look to address rising costs and continue our economic recovery from this pandemic, expanding the Child Tax Credit remains critical to our nation’s long-term economic success.”
- “The Child Tax Credit is one of the best tools we have to make parents’ hard work pay off and allow them to keep up with the cost of living,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “I heard from so many Ohio families about how getting these tax cuts each month made a difference in their lives, and we will not stop fighting to make them permanent.”
- “The expanded Child Tax Credit is an unbelievably effective tool to lift children out of poverty and provide working families the resources they need to thrive,” said U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA). “This report from Columbia University proves what I have long been reminding my colleagues in the Senate: the tax cut provided by the expanded Child Tax Credit kept kids fed, housed, educated, and properly cared for, not to mention how it helped support working families across the nation and their local communities. Know that I’m going to keep pushing in the Senate to find a way to bring back the tremendous benefits the expanded Child Tax Credit provided to our families, and make them permanent.”
In addition to champions on Capitol Hill, countless advocates and supporters of the program have spoken out on Columbia University’s research. “This study confirms what families know to be true – that budgeting month-to-month instead of year-to-year is critical to helping them cope with inflation,” said Paolo Mastrangelo, Head of Policy & Government Affairs at Humanity Forward. “We hope Congress can come together and help families access the Child Tax Credit immediately with a common-sense, bipartisan fix.” Samuel Hammond, Director of Poverty and Welfare Policy at the Niskanen Center, also added, “Advancing the Child Tax Credit monthly amplified its impact by aligning resources with the reality of how families budget. It’s an important and low cost innovation worth defending.”
The monthly refundable Child Tax Credit has been hailed as one of the most effective and popular policies of the Biden administration. Within its first month, the program lifted more than 3 million children out of poverty and slashed food insecurity, especially for families of color. According to researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and Appalachian State University, Child Tax Credit recipients were found to have seen significant declines in credit card debt, and were up to 2 times more likely than non-eligible households to reduce reliance on payday loans, pawn shops, and even selling blood plasma.
Despite the program’s effectiveness and popularity, it expired in December, and in the months since, a significant number of children have fallen back into poverty. Research from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and the Urban Institute indicates that the tax credit, if made permanent, would cut poverty by an estimated 40 percent, making it one of the most effective means of cutting child poverty in a generation.
To read Columbia University’s full report, visit: