By Friday evening, Penny had joined with a few key Pro-Family and Adoption leaders in America to send a letter to Chairman Kevin Brady outlining the concerns on the issue and asking him to ensure that the adoption tax credit is protected and preserved in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Penny continued to be engaged by being quoted over the weekend by media on the issue. Jaime Ballew, our House Legislative Director, was quick to communicate with House leadership that the grassroots of Concerned Women for America was excited to communicate directly with all of their members of Congress their disappointment of the child adoption tax credit being dropped from the tax reform package. Jaime communicated with leadership that we wanted to see how they could fix the situation. By midweek we were assured internally that we would be pleased with the results of the final markup on Thursday.
On Thursday morning, we received word that the adoption tax credit would be preserved in its current form through a Chairman’s amendment to the bill. This is a perfect example of how CWA works with our friends in Congress in leadership positions to move the needle forward, or, sometimes, put the needle back. Although tax credits like the adoption tax credit are unpopular with staunch fiscal conservatives, the adoption tax credit arguably provides a net gain because of the incentive it gives families to adopt from the foster care system, thereby saving taxpayers the estimated $26,000 annually that each foster child costs. Not only did we work with House Leadership to assure that this credit would be maintained, but we worked with other members on the committee to emphasize the importance of this credit. Our clout and influence is due in large part to our grassroots power; and sometimes even just letting Leadership know that our grassroots are angry is enough push to get a problem solved.