On April 12th, 2022, the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group and GRACE & End Child Poverty California campaign hosted a webinar entitled ‘Ending Child Poverty at the Federal and State Level.’ This webinar focused on how states have promoted child welfare, as well as sharing the importance of the passage of the Child Poverty Reduction Act (S. 643/H.R. 1558) to establish a national child poverty reduction target. The webinar included statements from Congressmembers Judy Chu, Danny Davis, Jimmy Gomez, Sara Jacobs, and Lucille Roybal-Allard.
A major focus throughout the webinar was the importance of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The CTC has decreased child poverty by 40-60% in the states it was implemented in. Congressman Gomez attributed this stark decrease to the CTC being fully refundable and advanceable and urged the CTC to be passed as a standalone bill or with the budget reconciliation to make it permanent. Without this, an estimated 3.7 million children will be pushed back into poverty. The webinar also focused on the need to pass the Child Poverty Reduction Act. This act would codify an annual child poverty reduction target, putting pressure on politicians to pass additional registration to reduce child poverty.
All the Congress members in attendance outlined the negative impacts of child poverty and the urgent need to address it. Congresswoman Judy Chu expressed her concern over the impact poverty has on youth mental health in conjunction with the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Congresswoman Sara Jacobs discussed how child poverty costs $1.1 trillion in lost productivity and robs the country of its potential. The webinar outlined state victories in combating child poverty such as baby bonds, guaranteed income, and New York’s Child Poverty Reduction Act as evidence of how child poverty is preventable, and the need for Congress to act.