WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today urged Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to include their bipartisan Child Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Rico Act (S. 698) in the next stimulus package. Nearly 60 percent of children in Puerto Rico live below the federal poverty line.

“This common sense legislative solution has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. If enacted, this bill would significantly reduce child poverty on an island plagued by recent hurricanes, earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic,” the senators wrote to Leaders McConnell and Schumer.

“Current law allows families in Puerto Rico to be eligible for the federal child tax credit only when they have their third child. The first two children born to American families living in Puerto Rico never qualify for the tax credit. This long-standing discrepancy is fundamentally unfair to Puerto Rican families who should have access to the same tax incentive as families who live on the mainland,” the senators added.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Leaders McConnell and Schumer:

As you consider additional legislation to alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we write to urge you to include our Child Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Rico Act (S. 698) in any such package. This common sense legislative solution has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. If enacted, this bill would significantly reduce child poverty on an island plagued by recent hurricanes, earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic and where nearly 60 percent of its children live below the federal poverty line.

Current law allows families in Puerto Rico to be eligible for the federal child tax credit only when they have their third child. The first two children born to American families living in Puerto Rico never qualify for the tax credit. This long-standing discrepancy is fundamentally unfair to Puerto Rican families who should have access to the same tax incentive as families who live on the mainland.

As you know, in 2016, the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico report included a bipartisan recommendation that Congress provide parity in the child tax credit (CTC) for American families living on the island. We hope that Congress will heed this recommendation by enacting this critical reform.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you on this important issue.

Respectfully,

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