House GOP child tax credit proposal would exclude some of the low-income parents who need it most

The proposal is less than meets the eye

President Donald Trump celebrated the House GOP tax proposals
President Donald Trump celebrated the House GOP tax proposals on Thursday with Congressional leaders. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The House Republican leadership has been trying to sell its tax proposal as tax cuts for all, especially promoting a partial expansion of the child tax credit. But while some families would benefit from this provision of the bill, an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that many of the low-income families most in need of the credit would be excluded.

According to the House Republican’s description of their legislative proposal, the bill would establish “a new Family Credit, which includes expanding the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600 to help parents with the cost of raising children, and providing a credit of $300 for each parent and non-child dependent to help all families with their everyday expenses.”

But Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy for CBPP, wrote Saturday that this cut would not apply to “millions of children whose parents work in low-wage jobs — even as it expands eligibility for higher-income families.”  Marr noted that those families are indeed the ones “with the greatest need” for the tax credit — more than 10 million children in all. A family making less than $16,333 with two children would get no expansion at all.

CREDIT: CBPP
CREDIT: CBPP

This report came a day after Congress’s own Joint Committee on Taxation reported that the legislation would add nearly $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years and that families earning between $20,000 and $40,000 annually would actually pay more under the plan, starting in 2023.   President Donald Trump, who embraced the bill on Thursday, promised as a candidate that his tax reform plan would provide “lower taxes for everyone.”