Lawmakers Introduce End Child Poverty Act to Send $393 Monthly Checks to Families

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The expanded child tax credit, which was part of the American Rescue Plan Act 2021, made significant contributions in reducing child poverty. Now, a group of Democrats want the federal government to come up with a similar measure, and thus, have reintroduced the End Child Poverty Act. If approved, this bill would send monthly checks to families with children under the age of 18.  

Monthly Checks To Families: Who Would Get Them?

Last week, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Chuy Garcia reintroduced the End Child Poverty Act. This bill, if approved, would establish a universal benefit to give families $393 a month per child until the child turns 18.

“The End Child Poverty Act would cut childhood poverty by nearly two-thirds,” Rep. Omar said in a statement. “It is exactly the type of bold action our party should be championing to finally address child poverty in this country and make sure families aren’t going hungry in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.”

This new program would replace the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the child provisions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) with a Universal Child Benefit.

The End Child Poverty Act would not have any income thresholds. Moreover, a newborn would be automatically enrolled in the program through the Social Security Administration.

The $393 monthly checks to families, or about $4,700 a year per child, would help in reducing child poverty by 64% and deep child poverty by 70%, according to an estimate from the People’s Policy Project. It is estimated that the program, if approved, would benefit about 77 million children.

End Child Poverty Act: Will It Win Support?

With Republicans holding a majority in the House, the End Child Poverty Act is unlikely to become law anytime soon. The bill’s sponsors, however, believe that monthly checks to families is important to ensure they are able to keep feeding their children, especially after the end of the expanded child tax credit.

President Joe Biden’s pandemic-era expanded child tax credit provided $3,000 per child aged 6 to 17 and $3,600 per child aged 5 and under. Although Biden hinted at renewing the program, it failed due to the opposition from Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin.

“The expanded Child Tax Credit lifted 2.9 million children out of poverty and cut child poverty in nearly half, but now that it has expired, too many families are struggling to make ends meet. In the richest country in the history of the world, no family should have to choose between keeping a roof over their head and putting food on the table to feed their children,” Congresswoman Tlaib said in a statement.

Organizations that have endorsed the End Child Poverty Act, include People’s Policy Project, We the People Michigan, Michigan United, Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, Mothering Justice and We the People Michigan.