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For Immediate Release
January 30, 2009
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WASHINGTON, DC – This week the Children's Defense Fund sent the following letter of support for the House's Economic Stimulus package to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter specifically praises the expansion of tax credits for low-income families.
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Madam Speaker:
On behalf of Children's Defense Fund, I write to express my strong support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1). Both conservative and liberal economists have repeatedly emphasized that our nation needs a sizeable stimulus package that catalyzes demand and creates jobs by putting money in the hands of people who need and will spend it. Creating a stimulus package that provides relief to middle- and low-income families is one of the most effective ways to achieve this goal, and this legislation has numerous provisions that will quickly stimulate the economy.
I am especially pleased that you included an expansion of tax credits to low-income families. Increasing the number of families eligible for the Child Tax Credit by lowering the refundability threshold and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for families with three or more children will put money into the pockets of those most likely to spend it immediately. Increasing the Child Tax Credit eligibility, expanding the EITC, and enacting the "Making Work Pay" credit as outlined in the House legislation will protect an estimated 1.1 million children from falling into poverty, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And the expanded investments in Head Start, child care, education, fiscal relief for the states, housing and nutrition assistance will provide urgently needed assistance to hard-pressed families who are likely to quickly spend the money to meet their most basic survival needs.
Addressing our human capital deficit and eliminating child suffering is the most important short- and long- term investment our nation can make. The investments in children and their families in the stimulus package are provisions that will lead to job creation and will put our entire nation — adults and children — on a path to economic recovery and future economic stability. Thank you for your leadership. We will work hard to support you.
Marian Wright Edelman