475458775While most people tend to think about federal programs when discussing investments in children, federal family tax provisions are critical and impact almost every single American family. In fact, 3 of the top 4 overall federal investments in children and families are federal tax provisions. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the dependent exemption accounted for more than $145 billion in 2013 in tax refunds as well as reductions in tax liabilities. While all three of these provisions have historically enjoyed strong bipartisan support, the 114th Congress needs to protect and strengthen various provisions within the family tax provisions.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman, Senate Finance Committee and U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) , Chairman, House Ways and Mean Committee, have strongly expressed their desires to achieve tax reform this year. President Obama has stated that he would like to see comprehensive tax reform as well. First Focus believes that any tax reform measures need to place children and the already effective family tax provisions as a chief priority. There should be legislative efforts to strengthen and expand the impact of EITC and the Child Tax Credit, including indexing the CTC and making permanent the 2009 EITC enhancements. 38 million American families benefit from the Child Tax Credit. EITC helps 26 million American families and help to lift millions of families out of poverty. Both EITC and CTC are critical for America’s families.

Can the Senator Hatch, Congressman Ryan and President Obama get together to achieve board, bipartisan tax reform that’s fair and helpful for children and their families? Congress and the President need to make children and their families a priority in any tax reform effort. Tens of millions of children are counting on them.