ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — An Arkansas advocacy group is urging Congress to expand child tax credits for 2023.

The child tax credit expansion is being considered by Congress during the lame duck session. Senior Policy Analyst with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) Bruno Showers said many Arkansas families are in need of keeping more money in their pockets.

“The pandemic showed that there was this great need, but especially in a state like Arkansas, where more than one in five children grow up in poverty,” Showers said.

Showers said AACF would like to see the credits expanded like they were in 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan.

“We’d like to see in this year-end package is something that expands the credit to reach more low-income families permanently,” Showers said.

According to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 223,000 Arkansas children lost out when the tax credit expansion was stopped this year. Showers said the tax credits have long-term benefits.

“Helps improve child health, it helps improve their educational outcomes, and then long term that itself helps improve their lifetime earnings,” Showers said.

Congress has until the end of the year to decide if the expanded credits will become part of a tax package for 2023.