January 31,2024

Wyden Statement on House Passage of The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act

Washington, D.C. - Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement today on the House’s passage of The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act:

“Most prognosticators would have told you as recently as a month ago that this bill was destined to die in negotiations or collect dust on a shelf if it ever got introduced. Given the sorry state of our political climate, it’s a real victory to have such strong momentum behind this bill that will help 16 million American kids from low-income families get ahead. 

“If I were writing this bill on my own, it would go a lot further in expanding the child tax credit. Nobody is getting everything they want, but given that it had to be bipartisan to have any chance of becoming law, I fought for every dollar for low-income kids that I could get. In the months and years ahead, my Democratic colleagues and I are going to keep fighting for even more improvements to the child tax credit to help even more families. 

“I’ve heard a number of Republican criticisms of the bill, and each one is less accurate than the last. This bill makes no change to Trump-era policy regarding who qualifies for the child tax credit. It’s the exact same approach. This bill should be totally separate from any debate on immigration. 

“The bill also contains a policy that allows taxpayers to use their income from the previous year to calculate their child tax credit. This provision is about flexibility for taxpayers, including those who take time away from work to care for a newborn or an elderly loved one. The idea that it’s going to drive large numbers of Americans to systematically quit their jobs every other year is absurd. The Joint Committee on Taxation and even conservative analysts from the American Enterprise Institute and the Tax Foundation agree that the bill won’t have a negative effect on the workforce in America. Furthermore, this is a policy that Congress has passed on a bipartisan basis several times. Dozens of sitting Republican senators have voted for it at least once.

“The IRS has confirmed that it will be able to process changes to people’s tax refunds quickly, in approximately six weeks. Taxpayers who send their returns to the IRS early in filing season will not need to file amended returns -- the IRS will send them their additional refund automatically. That’s due to improvements to its back-end systems funded by The Inflation Reduction Act. That’s great news because this is a rare opportunity in a deeply divided Congress to help a lot of families and kids who are struggling to get by, and Democrats don’t want those kids to have to wait any longer. 

“This was a strong vote in the House, and it means the action is moving over to the Senate. I’m going to work with Leader Schumer and my colleagues on both sides to get this done as soon as possible.”