Senate Tax Reform Plan Leaves Kids Behind
Approved plan does not expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (December 2, 2017)—The tax reform legislation passed early this morning by the U.S. Senate leaves kids behind now and in the future, said Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn Miles and Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) President Mark Shriver.
The bill does not expand or enhance the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC), the only dedicated tax credit that helps families afford the high cost of quality child care and early education programs.
"Kids don’t vote and don’t donate to political campaigns, and therefore were once again left behind by our lawmakers," said Shriver. "This was a critical and rare opportunity to change many families’ financial situations for the better and provide more kids with a strong start in life, but instead the Senate decided investing in our children is not important."
Further, because the plan causes a huge increase in the deficit, estimated at nearly $1.5 trillion, it will likely result in future cuts to programs for children both at home and overseas. That could result in vulnerable children not going to school and families not getting the health care they need where U.S. assistance plays an indispensable role.
"Instead of helping kids, the tax bill increases the deficit to cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy, which will most likely be paid for by cutting more federal spending on programs intended to help the most vulnerable, particularly our children," said Miles.
SCAN worked closely with Republicans in the Senate – including Senator Susan Collins of Maine – to get an amendment in the tax bill that would expand the child care tax credit and make it refundable for low-income families.
Unfortunately, the amendment was not included in the final legislation, which merely retains the child care tax credit and instead expands the Child Tax Credit, a tax credit just for having a child that is not required to be used for early education or child care expenses.
"For many working families, child care is one of the largest monthly expenses. While these costs continue to soar, the way the tax code treats those costs has remained the same for years," said Shriver. "Despite some Republicans working hard to expand the child care tax credit, this bill does not do anything new to help working parents more easily afford quality child care."
Research shows the immense benefits of high-quality early learning and care programs, especially for children living in poverty.
"When kids attend good child care programs, they are more likely to start school ready to learn, graduate from high school, and stay in the work force. This legislation doesn’t go far enough in helping all children in America succeed," Miles said. "Rather than providing a boost to working families in giving their kids a bright future, this plan will likely lead to fewer children having access to high-quality child care and early learning programs."
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