Friday, June 16, 2023
WASHINGTON (KTVZ) — Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said Friday that they and Senate colleagues have introduced legislation that would cut taxes for working families in Oregon and nationwide by expanding the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.
“When Democrats expanded the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2021, 3.7 million children were lifted out of poverty, providing families in Oregon and all around the country some much-needed financial breathing room for the first time,” said Wyden, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “This is a proven strategy to cut poverty and help families get ahead economically, but Republicans have blocked every effort to renew it.”
“Republicans argue that people of modest incomes will quit their jobs if the tax code gives them just a little more financial support, but the record shows that employment grew and our economy created millions of jobs while these tax credit expansions were in place in 2021,” Wyden said. “We’re going to look for every opportunity to pass this legislation in the coming weeks and months, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to overcome the opposition.”
“The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit are proven and effective poverty-reducing tools for workers and their families,” said Sen. Merkley. “At a time when families across the country are facing economic hardship as the cost of living continues to rise and low-income wages stagnate, expanding and making these tax credits permanent is critical to put money back into workers’ pockets, boost our economy, and support America’s working families.”
The Working Families Tax Relief Act would:
- Boost the incomes of 40 million households, including 65 million children.
- Increase the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 for children 6-17 and $3,600 for children from birth to 5 – when parents need it most – and make the credit fully refundable.
- Deliver the Child Tax Credit monthly, providing a reliable source of financial stability so families can better keep up with the cost of living.
- Nearly triple the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without children and make the credit available for people starting at age 19 and eliminating the maximum age. Currently, workers without children can be taxed into poverty. Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit would fix that.
- Make permanent the American Rescue Plan’s expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which cut child poverty by 40 percent.
Alongside Wyden, the introduction of the legislation was led by Senators Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Alongside Merkley, the bill was cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Chris Coons, D-Del., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., John Fetterman, D-Pa., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Tim Kaine, D-Va., Angus King, I-Maine, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Mark Warner, D-Va., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wyden and Merkley successfully fought to expand the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit to give families financial relief. These tax credits expired in early 2022 and Wyden and Merkley have continued the fight to make them permanent.