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Statement of Congressman Danny K. Davis Markup of H.R. 3300, Economic Mobility Act

I applaud the Chairman and my colleagues for advancing the Economic Mobility Act and prioritizing children, families, and childless workers.  Aside from the Affordable Care Act, this bill is probably the piece of legislation on which I will have voted that most directly and substantially improves the well-being of my constituents. 

  • 30.8% of children in my District live in poverty and 15% live in extreme poverty;
  • 25% of taxfilers in my District are low-income working parents, yet only 5% can qualify for the Child and Dependent Tax Care Credit given its extremely low phase out rate of $15,000 and lack of refundability;
  • 18.7% of adults in my District over 18 have income below the poverty level; and
  • The national poverty rate for African American and Native American children is 33%.

Given my constituency, I have championed enhancing the EITC to help childless workers and noncustodial parents since 2005 via the Julia Carson Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act.  In 2015, I started working with Senator Casey to lower the EITC eligibility age to 18 to help vulnerable young workers, like foster youth, homeless youth, apprentices, and job training program graduates.  By enhancing the EITC benefit to childless workers and by lowering the eligibility age to 19, this Democratic bill improves economic well-being, reduces poverty, and increases the labor-force participation of millions of workers – lessening the likelihood to need government support in the future.  This bill is expected to help over half a million childless workers in Illinois as well as increase the EITC for over 13,000 workers in my District to $523.  I greatly appreciate the Chairman’s commitment to these workers and to continuing to work with me as we move forward to ensure that foster and homeless youth who are aged 18 or working their ways through school can benefit from this critical expansion.

In addition to helping childless workers, this bill makes a historic advance in reducing child poverty.  The National Academy of Sciences recently released the Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty. The science is clear that a robust Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, a $2000 child allowance via the Child Tax Credit, and direct investment in child care subsidies will significantly reduce child poverty and greatly increases parental employment and earnings – especially for African Americans, single parents, and mothers younger than 25. The NAS found that the child care access improvements alone could reduce child poverty by more than one-fourth over the next decade.  Research shows that for families with children under the age of 5, receiving an extra $3,000 per year boosts children’s adult earnings by 17% .  When we help parents work by covering child care costs, they work and their increased earnings lift kids out of poverty. 

We know how pernicious and devastating childhood poverty is.  The National Academy of Sciences spent years examining the research on what policies work, and the data are clear – the policies advanced in this bill will dramatically reduce child poverty and strengthen the economic well-being of families. I am grateful to the Chairman and this Committee for including the EITC expansions and my bill to expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and for promotes work, strong families, and healthy children. This is an historic bill, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill.

Congressman Davis serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support on the Committee of Ways and Means, with broad jurisdiction over a range of critical supports for workers, children, and families - including guaranteed federal funding for child care and child welfare.

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    repName Danny K. Davis  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago District Office
    2813-15 W. Fifth Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60612
     
    district 7th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR Il  
    repDistrict 7  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 7th  
    repPhoto  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
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