Hinson proposes sizable hike in federal child tax credit

WASHINGTON — Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson of Marion is proposing an increase in the federal child tax credit as part of a package she says will support women during and after their pregnancies  with “concrete policy steps that will have meaningful impact on moms, babies and families.”

The 2021 American Rescue Plan that Hinson opposed raised the tax credit for low and middle-income parents of kids under the age of 17. Hinson’s bill would raise the credit even higher than last year’s levels — a 20% increase for parents with kids under five and 15% more for parents with kids between the ages of six and 16.

“There are other provisions in it, like expanding (the Women, Infants and Children program) that will also help low income mother,” Hinson says. “and it helps working families keep more of their own money.”

The legislation would let parents withdraw their future Social Security benefits for three months, to support parental leave after the birth of a baby. The bill would make is easier for faith-based organizations to secure federal grants for social service programs, including those that advise and support pregnant woman. Abortion rights advocates say some of the centers seek to delay and confuse women considering an abortion. Hinson says all institutions helping pregnant women should live up to what they’re promising.

“I believe that the pregnancy support centers that I’ve worked with here in Iowa are living up to that expectation,” Hinson says. “…I’ve worked with with Bridgehaven here in the Cedar Rapids area. They do a great job.”

Hinson’s bill also would make the federal adoption tax credit refundable. “I believe being prolife means supporting women during their pregnancy and beyond,” Hinson says.

Hinson’s bill in the U.S. House is identical to one Florida Republican Marco Rubio introduced in the U.S. Senate. Hinson did not indicate the bill is an alternative to another senator’s proposed national ban on most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. During a conference call with Iowa reporters this afternoon, Hinson described her bill as “a value statement” and said “now is an important time to present it” to the public.

Liz Mathis of Hiawatha, the Democrat challenging Hinson’s bid for a second term in the U.S. House, said the package “rings hollow” and is an attempt to “hide” her support for a nationwide ban on abortion.