Marian Wright EdelmanOp-EdOpinion

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Hope for Millions of Children on the Horizon

President Biden’s April 28 address to a joint Congress called for an overdue investment in families and children with his American Families Plan. He listed many critical ways his previous American Rescue Plan has provided help already to millions of families.

President Biden said the most important of all might be putting our nation on track to cut child poverty in half this year. The Children’s Defense Fund’s long cries in the wilderness to end child poverty are finally being heard!

I hope all children have a chance to realize their God-given potential in a more just United States. President Biden’s plan will provide a huge step forward.

CDF has prepared an analysis of the American Families Plan which includes extensions of recent Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) expansions, universal pre-kindergarten, access to two years of community college, more adequate investments in child care, an expansion of community eligibility for free meals to more children, and other critical supports families and workers need.

President Biden would pay for these investments by eliminating some tax cuts for the rich, including raising the tax rate for the top one percent and ending capital income tax breaks and other tax loopholes.

The American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan would lay the foundation for a stronger and more prosperous nation and I hope Congress will build on them to truly end child poverty and leave no child behind. Congress must make the full CTC expansion permanent and make additional investments in child care, housing, nutrition, and more.

Addressing our nation, President Biden said, “America is rising anew, choosing hope over fear, truth over lies, and light over darkness.” Our nation’s millions of poor children desperately need that hope and light far too long denied. I thank President Biden for his leadership.

Edelman is founder and president emerita of Children’s Defense Fund.

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