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The 1st big bill of the Biden era is a BFD. Here’s why

Originally published on CBC News.

Advocates for these measures included doctors, in Boston, who, despite working in one of the wealthiest cities in one of the wealthiest nations on Earth, described seeing underweight babies that meet the World Health Organization definition of malnutrition.

A researcher who works with these doctors says they literally notice babies’ weights fluctuating with the rise and fall in federal support programs.

Child poverty measures

That researcher, Allison Bovell-Ammon, said the success of Canada’s child benefit became a rallying cry for anti-poverty advocates like her, a director of policy strategy at Children’s HealthWatch, a Boston-based research organization.

She testified before Congress on the need for more generous family allowances in the U.S. — and that’s what this bill delivers with, among other measures, a child-tax credit that has nearly doubled to $3,600 a year and been expanded to the poorest families who previously didn’t qualify because they had too little taxable income.

“I’m very excited,” she said in an interview. “I think this is a huge step forward in our fight against childhood poverty.”