Expanded tax credit would benefit 129,000 Iowa kids

An advocacy group is calling on the U.S. Senate to pass a tax bill to expand the Child Tax Credit for more than 100,000 children in Iowa. It is part of a broader tax bill which has already passed the House.

The bill would expand the Child Tax Credit to about 16 million kids who do not currently qualify because their parents do not meet the income threshold, including 129,000 in Iowa.

Jena Bushaw, a parent in Kossuth County and member of the group United Today Stronger Tomorrow, said the expanded tax credit would make a big difference to her family and thousands of others in Iowa.

“I pay $195 a week on day care, regardless if my daughter gets to go or not,” Bushaw pointed out. “That’s almost two days’ worth of my paycheck.”

She noted the group is calling on Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to support the bill. Grassley, like many GOP members, has said passing the measure would make President Joe Biden “look good” during an election year.

Similar Child Tax Credit measures have buckled under partisan pressure in the past. Bushaw argued the expanded tax credit for children should not boil down to politics.

“The next step is pushing our senators to do what we hired them to do,” Bushaw asserted. “Remind them that our children are not pawns in a political game. They serve the American people, not just their party. I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat, if you agree with this bill, you should be voting for it.”

Bushaw and other supporters contended the bill would begin to take aim at the child poverty rate, which doubled in 2022 to nearly 12.5%, according to the Children’s Defense Fund.