The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) celebrates the approval of new aid for America’s struggling families and workers through the temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Under the recently approved American Rescue Plan, most parents will receive $3,600 per child ages 0–5, and $3,000 per child age 6–17. This is an increase from the current annual Child Tax Credit of $2,000, of which only $1,400 is refundable. The boost in the Child Tax Credit is expected to lift more than four million children out of poverty.
“Families are central to God’s plan for human flourishing, and work is foundational to human dignity,” said NAE President Walter Kim. “The improvements in the child and earned income tax credits will make a substantial contribution to reducing poverty during the pandemic and its aftermath, particularly for African American and Latino families who represent a disproportionate share of low wage employees.”
Many low-income workers will also see an increase in their net wages due to the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. The credit will be newly available to those age 19–24 who are not full-time students, and to seniors over 65. Nearly six million workers without dependents will see their maximum annual benefit increased from $540 to $1,500. These workers are the only group currently taxed into poverty.
The American Rescue Plan is a large package with many provisions, including some that are wise and others that are unwise. A major shortcoming of the American Rescue Plan is that it does not include Hyde Amendment protection of the unborn from federally funded abortions. The NAE thanks those senators who supported Senator James Lankford’s amendment that would have added Hyde Amendment language to the legislation. We urge state and local governments that receive aid through this package to use these resources to protect and preserve human life at all stages of development.