Today, First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to Senators Mitt Romney, Richard Burr, and Steve Daines — authors of the Family Security Act 2.0 — as well as Members of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways & Means Committee, urging them to make the “best interests” of children the centerpiece of any legislation that impacts children and to start with the Child Tax Credit framework from the American Rescue Plan Act, not the Family Security Act 2.0.

Excerpt from the letter:

The first version of the original Family Security Act proposed by Senator Romney would have cut child poverty by an estimated 32.6%, according to analysis by the Niskanen Center. Households with the least resources would have been eligible to receive the full (newly increased) Child Tax Credit. We strongly support this policy improvement with respect to the Child Tax Credit but had some concerns with some of the proposed offsets, such as the proposed abolition of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant and the changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Unfortunately, as the Family Security Act morphed into version 2.0, changes focused on adults were made to the Child Tax Credit and significantly reduced the positive impact it would have on millions of children. The “best interests of children” became an afterthought as the focus shifted to some sort of “deservedness” standard for adults that has the effect of punishing children. As a result, the Niskanen Center’s updated analysis shows that the Family Security Act 2.0 would only reduce child poverty by just 12.6%.

Read the full letter here