HOW TO TAKE ACTION:

Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and follow the prompts to reach your Senators and Representative. Fill out the blanks and read the script when the staff answers the phone or leave a voice message.

Or find your Member of Congress here

SCRIPT:

“Hi, my name is [NAME], I am a voting constituent living in [CITY/TOWN] and my zip code is [ZIP CODE #].

I’m calling to urgently request that [YOUR SENATOR /REPRESENTATIVE’S NAME] support expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and extending the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the residents of Puerto Rico. These two pro-work, anti-poverty programs would increase the economic well-being of thousands of low-income Puerto Ricans and reduce migration to the mainland.

Will [YOUR SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE’S NAME ] publicly support Puerto Rico’s long term economic recovery, working parents and job creation on the island?

BACKGROUND:

Most Puerto Ricans do not currently qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, perhaps the most successful anti-poverty, pro-work program in the history of the United States. Congress should authorize the extension of this program to residents of Puerto Rico, which would lift thousands of working families from poverty.

Also, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) currently applies only to Puerto Rican families with three or more children. Extending the CTC, including its refundable option, to families with 1 or 2 children would provide a much needed boost to approximately 355,000 working families and 440,000 children.

Many Puerto Rican families with children decide to leave the island because of the lack of economic opportunities and ability to provide for their children. This situation has worsened after Hurricane Maria. Statistics compiled by the Youth Development Institute of Puerto Rico illustrate the dire context that children and their families face. In 2016, more than half of children (56%) were living in poverty, with nearly 4 out of 10 living in extreme poverty. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of children lived in families were a parent worked at least 50 weeks a year, yet they still lived in poverty or near poverty.

Together, these two programs would increase the economic well-being of thousands of low-income Puerto Ricans and mitigate post Maria migration to the mainland.

Puerto Ricans pay their fair share of tax dollars in the form of Federal payroll taxes, business taxes, and estate taxes just not on salaries or income derived on the island. There are precedents within the CTC itself to extend tax credits to Puerto Rico for the purposes of economic development.

Source: Advocacy for the Resilient Rebuild of Puerto Rico, Center for a New Economy.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico Releases Final Report

Instituto Desarrollo Juventud

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