The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated social and economic inequalities that existed before 2020. Families that were hit the hardest by the pandemic are in desperate need of economic relief. Programs such as the Child Tax Credit expansion in 2021 provided necessary and impactful relief to Americans. Despite the evident success and necessity of these programs, Congress has still not passed a permanent economic relief package that would play a critical role in lessening inequality in the United States.
The expansion to the Child Tax Credit in 2021 kept more than 3 million children out of poverty, yet the child tax credit expansion expired at the end of 2021. More than 3.7 million children were sent back into poverty in January 2022.
An economic relief package needs to be passed now and needs to include: a permanent Child Tax Credit, rental subsidies for families, childcare affordability, childhood nutrition programs, mental health supports, and more. We cannot afford to wait any longer if we want to rebuild following the pandemic.