Congressional Democrats are touting the Child Tax Credit as checks hit bank accounts today.
“Today’s the day that we say to the parents of America, ‘Help is on the way,’” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
He said this will help middle-class families stay in the middle class, and for children in poor families, it will help lift half of them out of poverty.
The expansion of the credit means that families will receive $300 per month for each child under 6 years old, and $250 per month for kids 6 to 17 through the end of the year. It phases out for families with higher incomes.
According to the White House, more than 580,000 families in Colorado will get a check, equalling more than $244 million in total payouts.
Schumer praised Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown for being “relentless” and making the expansion happen.
The expanded child tax credit “makes sure the people in America who need the help the most, get help, and get it on a monthly basis,” Bennet said. “And I think that is a demonstration from Washington, D.C. that our kids are visible to us.”
Brown said the credit will make a huge difference in people’s lives, as well as the overall economy. “It puts a lot of money into a lot of middle class and working class neighborhoods, and that money is going to be spent at local stores.”
This tax credit was part of the American Rescue Plan, the coronavirus relief package that passed earlier this year without any Republican support. It’s a point that many Democrats are hammering home. A quick look at the social media accounts for Colorado’s congressional delegation shows Democrats talking up the credit, with Republicans talking about everything from China and Cuba to inflation and the 2nd Amendment — anything but the child tax credit.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said Democratic support for the child tax credit “shows who we are versus who the Republicans are.” She noted the 2017 tax cut went mainly to the wealthiest American households and companies.
“We are demonstrating today who we are fighting for, who we care about ... the majority of Americans who are working hard to hold things together every day,” Stabenow said.
The 2017 tax bill did double the maximum benefit of the child tax credit to $2,000 per child.
Republicans have argued that the larger credit is an expansion of the welfare state, will disincentive parents from working, and could lead to high levels of fraud. Fiscally conservative think tanks have also warned that it contributes to the climbing national debt.
Currently, the child tax credit expansion is only for this year. But Democrats, and Bennet in particular, say they want to see that extended. They plan to include it in a reconciliation package being drafted in the coming weeks.
Until then, they say they’re going to work to make sure every eligible family and child receives the additional benefit.
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