Congressman Jim McGovern on Why Hunger is a Political Condition

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Child Tax Credit Series Bonus Content

Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) has made it his mission to end childhood hunger. As part of Add Passion and Stir’s series covering the expansions to the Child Tax Credit, we spoke with McGovern about his advocacy for legislation that addresses the root causes of hunger and poverty in America.

Elected in 1996, the year the Child Tax Credit was created, McGovern has seen all variations of the credit from inside Congress. For him, the expansion of the Child Tax Credit to provide benefits to an additional 39 million households is a critical component of a cross-governmental strategy to end poverty.

McGovern says, “This [bill] is about our values. These are people’s lives…The reason why this investment is so significant is because we have underinvested in people for decades.”

In this full interview with McGovern, we hear how he is working with leaders in and out of government to finally make the conversation about hunger something that we address head on. “Hunger is a political condition. We have the food, resources, knowledge, infrastructure; we have everything to end it but we haven’t had the political will,” McGovern concludes.

Resources and Mentions:

Rep. Jim McGovern

Jim McGovern

U.S. Representative
Congressman Jim McGovern is a Democratic member of the U.S. House, representing Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District. He assumed office in 1997 and his current term ends in 2023. As of the 116th Congress, McGovern was Chair of the House Committee on Rules. Prior to his election to the House, McGovern worked as an aide to Rep. John Joseph Moakley (D-Mass.) from 1982 to 1996 and was appointed to lead the Moakley Commission Congressional Investigation into the murder of six Jesuit priests by the Salvadoran Army in 1989.

Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever – and as of July 15th, most families are automatically receiving monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child without having to take any action. The Child Tax Credit will help all families succeed.

The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household).

The American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan is delivering direct relief to the American people, rescuing the American economy, and starting to beat the virus.