Tax Credits for Poor Families Held Hostage by GOP
Interview with Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
President George W. Bush promised that his most recent tax cut would stimulate the economy and help low-income families. But right after he signed the legislation in May, it came to light that an increase in the child tax credit, which was part of the package, would not be going to the country's poorest families covering 12 million children whose parents earn between $10,000 and $26,000 annually. They were excluded in last-minute negotiations between the House and Senate. Most taxpayers will receive a $400-per-child check in the mail this summer as a result of the law, which raises the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000. The poorest families, who pay no federal income tax, will receive substantially less.
The Senate quickly passed a bill extending the child tax credit to these families. But the House, under GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay, is insisting the only way he will allow extension of the tax credit to these poor families is if Congress also increases the upper income eligibility limit for these credits, thus adding another $82 billion to the deficit over the next decade.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs in Washington, D.C., which includes about 100 national service and advocacy organizations. Weinstein talks about what the tax credit would mean to poor families, and how her group and other organizations are exerting pressure on Capitol Hill to release the funds.
Coalition on Human Needs can be reached by calling (202) 223-2532 or by visiting their website at www.chn.org
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