May 01, 2020

Warren Joins Brown, Bennet, Durbin, Wyden in Call for Tax Credit Expansion to Help Working Families During Coronavirus Economic Downturn

Senators Call for Tax Cuts for Working Americans by Expanding Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit; Expansion Would Put Money in Pockets of Working Americans, Provide Badly-Needed Financial Resources as the COVID- 19 Economic Downturn Continues Into Next Year

Text of Letter (PDF) 

Washington, D.C. - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined  Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), along with 38 senators, in 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. As the economic effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are expected to last into next year, this would put money back in the pockets of working Americans as they continue to weather the economic downturn.

"COVID-19 has presented our nation with an unprecedented public health challenge. This Congress has taken several bipartisan steps to address it, along with the resulting economic effects we've already seen. However, additional measures are critical to confront and reverse ongoing economic paralysis. The EITC and the CTC are proven and effective tools to increase financial stability for workers and their families. Expanding them will provide much needed support to families and boost our economy as our nation recovers from COVID-19," the senators wrote.

The senators' 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. Currently, the youngest adult workers - including those on the front lines of coronavirus like health aides, grocery store clerks, and truck drivers - are ineligible for the credit. Workers not raising children in the home are only eligible for a small credit. These 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. As the economic effects of coronavirus continue, these changes to the CTC will benefit 26 million kids whose families currently cannot receive the full value of the $2,000 credit. 

Together, these expansions will provide support to the workers and families who will be hit the hardest and affected the longest by this crisis.

The letter builds on the Working Families Tax Relief Act, legislation Senator Warren cosponsored that would cut taxes for workers and families by expanding the EITC and 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. 

In addition to Senators Warren, Brown, Bennet, Durbin and Wyden, the letter was also signed by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), 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.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai'i), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).