CNN & POLITICO: House Democrats’ Child Tax Credit is Already Cutting Child Hunger and Economic Hardship

August 13, 2021

The second round of Child Tax Credit payments hit bank accounts today – and the data from the first round shows that President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ middle class tax cut is already having a ‘huge’ impact on child hunger and economic hardship for working families

POLITICO and CNN report that the number of children experiencing hunger fell 24 percent in July – and that payments are already helping parents meet the basic needs of their children. 

As a reminder, every single House Republican voted against this middle class tax credit and to let children go hungry. 

A look at the impact of the first round of payments: 

 POLITICO: Round one of child tax credit payments slashed hunger rates, U.S. data shows

The percentage of American families with kids who report not having enough to eat fell dramatically after the first child tax credit payments were distributed last month, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The government’s finding shows that the monthly payments are having a major and immediate impact on millions of households, potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s push to extend the tax credit past the end of this year, when it is set to expire.

Before the first tranche of tax credit payments hit bank accounts in mid-July, about 11 percent of households with children reported that they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the past week. After the money went out, the rate dropped to just over 8 percent — a decrease of nearly 24 percent — and the lowest rate recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.

CNN: The child tax credit may be helping ease economic hardship after just one round

Only the first payment of the enhanced child tax credit has gone out so far, but it already seems to be having a big impact on American families.

Parents reported less trouble affording food and paying for household expenses after the first payment was sent on July 15, according to the latest Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, released Wednesday.

The next installment – as much as $300 for each child up to age 6 and $250 for each one ages 6 through 17 – is scheduled for Friday.

Just over 10% of households with children sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat over the past seven days, according to the survey, which was conducted between July 21 and August 2.

That’s the lowest estimate since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and a “huge drop” of 3.5 percentage points from the prior survey taken a month earlier, said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

“It looks like families are using this to pay for basic needs that their kids have,” Schanzenbach said. “These are things we know many families are struggling with. This extra payment is going to reduce the number of families at risk.”

Overall, some 27% of parents said mostly spent the child tax credit payment, 32% said they mostly saved it and 40% said they mostly used it to pay down debt, according to the survey.