WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) and Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR) urged Congress today to address the growing number of working families and children who are shut out of the critical benefits offered by the refundable child tax credit. In a letter to the Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Senators Snowe and Lincoln askedthat the Working Family Child Assistance Act (S. 218) be included as part of a forthcoming tax extenders package this year.
“Our families and our country are better off when government lets people keep more of what they earn,” Snowe said. “Parents deserve their per-child tax credit, and my bill rewards families for work. I am committed to this issue and call on my colleagues in the Senate to move swiftly to pass the Working Family Child Assistance Act so we can help an additional one million children, whose parents and guardians struggle every day to take care of them.”

“Children are our most precious blessing, and we must do everything we can to make sure working families have the necessary resources to raise their children. The Child Tax Credit has proven to be a useful tool, but unfortunately it isn’t working for everyone,” Lincoln said.  “It is wrong to provide some hard-working families this relief, while leaving others behind.  Our bill addresses this inequity and ensures that our tax code works for all Americans, especially lower-income families.” 
This year, because the income threshold is indexed, only taxpayers earning over $11,750 are eligible to receive the refundable portion of the child tax credit.  Low-income families earning less than $11,750 are shut out of the child tax credit completely.
The Working Family Child Assistance Act will enable more hard-working, low-income families to receive the refundable child credit. The legislation returns the amount of income a family must earn to qualify for the child tax credit to $10,000. Moreover, the legislation would “de-index” the $10,000 threshold for inflation, so families failing to get a raise each year would not lose benefits. The consequences of inaction are serious for low-income Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck.   It means that tens of thousands of low-income families will be completely ineligible for a credit they should receive.