On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee passed a series of tax bills designed to expand current tax benefits for a number of low and middle income families and individuals. The Economic Mobility Act of 2019, among several provisions, expands the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless workers; expands refundability of the child tax credit and extends the program to cover qualifying families in Puerto Rico. The child care tax credit is made fully refundable in 2019 and 2020.

The Child Care Quality and Access Act of 2019, sponsored by Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL), would add $1 billion in child care funding. The mandatory funding portion of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is found under the TANF law. It would increase from $2.9 billion a year to $3.9 billion in 2019 and 2020. The mandatory funding is allocated to states and requires a state match at a matching rate like the Medicaid program so the added federal funds should leverage an additional $800 to 900 million in state matching funds.

Other bills considered deal with clarifying the tax status of legally married same sex couples, and to extend more than 30 expire tax breaks and credits. The legislation will eventually pass the House and be sent to the Senate where it is less clear which parts of the tax package they want and which they are willing to negotiate.