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House Votes To Boost Well-Off Kids, Cut Out Poor Kids

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted Friday to change a tax credit in a way that would add $115 billion to the deficit and hurt poorer parents while aiding the well-to-do.

By a vote of 237-173, mostly along party lines, the House decided to make permanent the child tax credit and expand it to families earning up to $205,000 a year. The credit, which is worth up to $1,000 for each child in a family, would also be indexed to rise with inflation, as would the eligibility thresholds.

But the new measure fails to extend the part of the credit that was passed in 2009 to help impoverished families and that currently allows parents with annual earnings as low as $3,000 to claim some of the break. That element expires in 2017. Without it, a family would have to earn at least $15,000 to qualify for the credit.

According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, that means a mom working full time at a minimum wage job would receive no help from the credit — because she would be earning only $14,500. Indeed, that mom would lose $1,725 under the new bill, while a family of four earning $150,000 would gain $2,200, according to the center’s analysis.

About 12 million people, including 6 million children, would be pushed further into poverty if the measure became law.

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