Following Skyrocketing Child Poverty Data, Bennet Urges Congress to Restore a Lifeline for American Families

“We turned our back on America’s kids,” said Bennet. “We've got to fight to make the enhanced Child Tax Credit permanent.”

Washington, D.C. — Following a report from the Census Bureau finding that childhood poverty more than doubled last year, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet made the case about the critical need to restore expanded, enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC). 

During a press conference urging Congress to fight child poverty and expand the CTC, Bennet said:

“We’ve now seen the largest increase in childhood poverty that we’ve ever seen in this country, the richest country in the world. On the other hand, we know that it’s in the backdrop of the promises that we made about [the Child Tax Credit] actually being fulfilled.”

“30 million children benefited from this. We cut childhood poverty in the United States of America in half. 90 percent of the kids in Colorado and across the country benefited from this.”

“I’ve been here on Christmas Eve and on New Year's Eve when tax cuts for the biggest corporations in America were expiring. I’ve been here when tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans were expiring. And I’ve seen the Senate stay here until 2 o'clock in the morning to make sure those tax cuts were extended. In this case, we turned our back on America’s children. For once, we treated America’s children like they were our children, not someone else’s children, in the richest country in the world. But in the end, we turned our backs on them.”

On MSNBC’s 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, Bennet said:

“We turned our backs on America’s kids. We enacted a policy that cut child poverty in half, which is what the proponents of this bill, including myself, said it would... Families got the checks every month and they were able to pay for a little bit of extra food or buy some school clothes for their kids, or not have to make such a stressful decision about affording rent or paying for health care or after school stuff. They spent their money on kids, and the richest country in the world cut child poverty in half. Now we have seen it double, in effect, because we did not extend the child tax credit. 

“My goal is to end childhood poverty in this country. I think that that should be a goal for the richest country in the world. We now know how to do it, and we've got to fight to make this child tax credit, the enhanced child tax credit, permanent.”

Watch the full interview HERE.

In an interview with ABC for Grand Junction, Colo., Bennet said:

“[Because of the expanded Child Tax Credit] families on the West Slope of Colorado got a little bit of breathing room so they could help a little with the rent. They could pay down to not make such a tough choice between food and other bills at the end of the month or buy school clothes for their kids. It really was real breathing room."

In an interview with FOX for Denver, Colo., Bennet said:

“In a country as wealthy as the United States, [childhood poverty] is inexcusable.”

“5 million more kids in America have fallen into poverty as a result of the child tax credit alone being taken away.”

“90 percent of kids in Colorado benefited from this. Sometimes people think that this was only directed at kids living in poverty. Actually, it was directed both to people living in poverty and all families that work for a living, and they sure could use the help during this inflationary period.”

“I’m hopeful that we’re going to be able to have a negotiation between now and the end of the year that might tie the expansion of the research and development tax credit to an expanded child tax credit.”

Watch the full interview HERE.

Here’s what people are saying about Bennet’s calls to restore the CTC:

In POLITICO’s Morning Tax:

“On the heels of Census data released Tuesday showing that the childhood poverty rate more than doubled in 2022, proponents of the expanded Child Tax Credit are hard at work trying to get the family relief included in a year-end tax bill.

“At a press conference Wednesday afternoon five members of the CTC Six — Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) along with Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) — hammered home how the credit alleviated poverty for millions of children and helped get parents back in the workforce by giving them more resources for childcare.


“‘I’ve been here when tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans were expiring, and I’ve seen the Senate stay here until two o’clock in the morning to make sure those tax cuts were extended,’ Bennet said of the failure to extend the expanded CTC last year. ‘In this case, we turned our back on America’s children.’”

Colorado Newsline: After spike in child poverty, Bennet, Democratic colleagues renew push for expanded child tax credit

September 14, 2023

“Bennet said when Congress gave families this extra support, they used the money they received on their kids.

“‘We know that the policy worked the way we said it was going to work,’ Bennet said at the press conference. ‘There were a lot of doubters about that when we passed this bill to begin with — now we know that’s not true. Thirty million children benefited from this. We cut child poverty in the United States of America in half. Ninety percent of the kids in Colorado and across the country benefited from this.’”


“‘The benefits to America are extraordinary,” Bennet said. “The idea that the richest country in the world wouldn’t want to end childhood poverty for its own sake defies my imagination. I do not understand it.’”

Colorado Sun: The Unaffiliated Newsletter

September 15, 2023

“Last year’s child poverty rate was up from 5.2% in 2021, when low-income families received monthly payments under the expanded child tax credit.

“U.S Sen. Michael Bennet and other Democrats on Wednesday renewed their call to reinstate the expanded credit in light of the new census data.

“‘Thirty million children benefited from this,” Bennet, who has made expanding the child tax credit the cornerstone of his congressional agenda, said at a news conference. “I met family after family after family who are struggling in Colorado with an economy that for 50 years (has) worked really well for the people at the very top and not so well for everybody else.’”

Colorado Pols: Numbers Don’t Lie: Bennet’s Expanded Child Tax Credit Works

September 14, 2023

“The Expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) has long been one of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s signature issues. It was a win-win issue that is rare in politics these days: The program was wildly successful and it helped ensure Bennet’s re-election in 2022. But funding for the CTC was not renewed beyond 2021, in part because West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin wanted to see a stricter work requirement attached to the benefits. Manchin bought into the old Republican canard that federal aid money is just used to buy drugs for people on welfare, yada, yada (there is no reliable data to support this idea).”

“There may be no better example of how Congress gets in its own way than the failure to continue a program that dropped child poverty rates to an historic low level of 5.2 percent.

“The expanded CTC worked. We know it worked. We can PROVE that it worked.

“So why can’t Congress make it work again?”


Bennet has long led the fight to eliminate child poverty and has been a tireless advocate for expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC). In 2021, Bennet worked with the Biden Administration to enact a one-year expansion of the Child Tax Credit – based on his American Family Act – in the American Rescue Plan that President Joe Biden signed into law. This expansion cut child poverty almost in half and hunger for families by a quarter in 2021. It also benefited 90 percent of Colorado children and helped lift nearly 3 million children out of poverty nationwide