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ICYMI | American Compass Op-Ed: Child Tax Credit is a Win for Conservatives

February 20, 2024

Washington, D.C. – The overwhelming vote of support for the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act in the House of Representatives demonstrates the popularity of conservative policies that strengthen work incentives and support American families, writes the American Compass in an opinion editorial for Newsweek.

Republicans laid the foundation for pro-growth, pro-family policies decades ago with the creation of the Child Tax Credit:

The CTC, a per-child tax credit for working families, was originally a Republican idea, after all—part of the 1994 Contract with America. The formation and stability of families has always been an object of conservative policymaking. When policies harm the family, conservatives have strenuously worked to reform or repeal them. When policies promote marriage and the flourishing of children in strong homes, conservatives have supported and enacted them.”

Conservative policies like those in the Child Tax Credit help support families by connecting them to work:

Before welfare reform, U.S. government assistance to the very poor kept them very poor. Unconditional cash payments supported millions of able-bodied parents outside of the workforce, but the payments were withdrawn if the parents went to work. Steep penalties for getting married gave parents both the message and the incentive to remain unwed. Conservatives flipped this script by requiring work, channeling support toward helping people find work, and using programs like the CTC and the Earned Income Tax Credit to get more resources to families that were working to support themselves.”

The Tax Relief for American Families & Workers Act builds upon the Child Tax Credit from the 2017 Trump tax cuts and denies Democrats’ attempts to turn it into an unconditional cash benefit:

The Left’s negotiating position—that the CTC must go even to families where no one works—slowed progress…The new tax package repudiates this framework in roundly pro-family fashion. It eliminates penalties on larger families. It protects the credit from future devaluation through inflation. It gives parents the ability to remain eligible based on their prior year’s work if they face a one-year interruption in their income or take time off for the birth of a child. And it insists that the CTC can only be received through work, while strengthening the incentive to enter the workforce and getting more support more quickly to working families.”  

Read the American Compass op-ed in Newsweek here.