The National Association of Evangelicals joined with several other organizations in writing to members of the Senate and House of Representatives about key poverty programs. The organizations ask that provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit be maintained.

Dear Senator,

We, the undersigned organizations, which represent faith leaders, charities, civil rights, labor, women’s, and other organizations working to reduce poverty, urge Congress to act this year to save critical provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC) before they expire. Congress also should close a large gap in the EITC by expanding it for low-income childless adults and non-custodial parents, the lone group of workers that the tax code taxes into (or deeper into) poverty.

The EITC and CTC are among the nation’s strongest tools to help working families escape poverty and achieve greater self-sufficiency. Together, they lifted 9.4 million people out of poverty — and made 22 million others less poor – in 2013. They also lift 5 million children out of poverty, more than any other program, and they did as much or more to raise employment among single mothers as welfare reform, extensive research shows.

If Congress lets critical provisions of these credits expire at the end of 2017, some 50 million Americans, including 25 million children, will lose part or all of their tax credits — and more than 16 million people, including almost 8 million children, will fall into or deeper into poverty. These critical components are both pro-work and pro-family: they reduce the marriage penalty that some two-earner families face in the EITC, boost the EITC for families with more than two children to reflect their higher living costs, and expand the CTC’s reach among very-low-income working families.

If these key EITC and CTC provisions are allowed to expire:

  • Millions of low-income working parents will lose their entire CTC. A single mother with two children who works full time at the minimum wage, earning $14,500, will lose her entire CTC of $1,725.
  • Married couples and larger families will lose part of their EITC. A married couple with three children and earnings of $35,000 will see their EITC shrink by roughly $1,200.
  • More than 2 million workers outside metropolitan areas, with more than 4 million children, will lose all or part of their credits.
  • Some 450,000 veteran and armed-forces families would lose all or part of their CTC. A similar number would lose all or part of their EITC.

Moreover, the EITC and CTC help children in working families at virtually every stage of their lives, ground-breaking research indicates. Children whose families receive an income boost from these credits on average do better in school and are likelier to go to college, likelier to work more and earn more as adults, and likelier to be healthier and avoid the early onset of various adult illnesses.

Unfortunately, low-wage childless workers (workers who don’t claim dependent children) receive little from the EITC. In 2013, roughly 8 million such workers were taxed into or deeper into poverty, in part because of an inadequate EITC. Fortunately, both parties are promoting ways to address the problem. President Obama and such key lawmakers as House Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan propose expanding the EITC for workers not raising children and lowering the eligibility age for this credit from 25 to 21. That would encourage and reward work, boost employment, reduce poverty, and — highly-regarded researchers suggest — therefore likely lower incarceration rates and raise the marriage prospects of young people.

As Congress considers tax proposals this year that would help business and other interests, it should not leave low-wage workers and their families behind. Instead, it should make these critical EITC and CTC provisions permanent, plug the gap in the EITC for childless workers, take responsible steps to improve the tax credits’ integrity, and reject harmful proposals that would weaken the credits.

The time to act is now.

Thank you for considering our views.


9to5, National Association of Working Women
A World Fit For Kids
Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region
AIDS United
Alliance for a Just Society
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Psychological Association
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Americans for Tax Fairness
Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Bread for the World
Center for American Progress Action Fund
Center for Community Change
Center for Global Policy Solutions
Center for Law and Social Policy
Center for Public Justice
Center for Rural Strategies
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Child Care Aware of America
Child Welfare League of America
Children’s Defense Fund
Children’s Leadership Council
Christian Community Development Association
Citizens for Tax Justice
Coalition on Human Needs
Common Sense Kids Action
Communications Workers of America
Community Action Partnership
Community Organizations in Action
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED)
CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing)
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Disciples Justice Action Network
Early Care and Education Consortium
Ecumenical Poverty Initiative
Enterprise Community Partners
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Every Child Matters Education Fund
Feeding America
First Focus Campaign for Children
Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
Foster Family-based Treatment Association
Futures Without Violence
Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches
Goodwill Industries International
Hispanic National Bar Association
Interfaith Worker Justice
Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jobs With Justice
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFL-CIO (LCLAA)
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Leadership Team of the Felician Sisters of North America
League of Women Voters of the United States
Loretto Community
Lutheran Services in America
Lutheran Services in America Disability Network
Mainstreet Alliance
Medical Mission Sisters
NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good
National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.
National Alliance of Children’s Trust & Prevention Funds
National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA)
National Alliance of HUD Tenants
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
National Association for Hispanic Elderly
National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB)
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
National Association of Community Health Centers
National Association of County Human Services Administrators
National Association of Evangelicals
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)
National Black Child Development Institute
National Center on Adoption and Permanency
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA)
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
National Disability Rights Network
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project (NELP)
National Foster Parent Association
National Head Start Association (NHSA)
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Human Services Assembly
National Immigration Law Center
National Latino Evangelical Coalition
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Organization for Women
National Recreation and Park Association
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
National Rural Social Work Caucus
National Urban League
National WIC Association
National Women’s Law Center
Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of United Church of Christ (NEER/UCC)
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Office of Social Justice of the Christian Reformed Church
Our Developing World
OWL-The Voice of Women 40+
Partnership for America’s Children
PICO National Network
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Public Advocacy for Kids
Share Our Strength
Single Stop
Sinsinawa Dominican Leadership
Sisters of Charity Federation
Sisters of Charity, BVM
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Institute Justice Team
The American Orthopsychiatric Association
The Arc of the United States
The Jewish Federations of North America
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The National Crittenton Foundation
The Salvation Army National Headquarters
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
Treatment Communities of America
Union for Reform Judaism
Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the B.V.M. – US Province
United Auto Workers
United Cerebral Palsy
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
United for a Fair Economy
United Way Worldwide
Voices for Progress
Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)
World Relief
Young Invincibles