Larson, Bronin seek extension of child tax credit

The US Capitol Credit: Orhan Cam / Shutterstock

With President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation halted in the U.S. Senate, Connecticut Democrats hoped to garner support on Monday by pointing to the bill’s expansion of a recently expired monthly tax credit for families. with children.

“I think the outcry you’re going to hear from people – when they checked their bank accounts in January, they found they were costing on average about $400 less for a tax credit that had a huge succeeded in lifting children out of poverty,” U.S. Representative John Larson said at a morning press conference. “It’s questions like these…that motivate people to vote.”

Larson appeared with Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and union leaders to tout the impact of the pandemic-era expansion on the Child Tax Credit, which expired in December. The American Rescue Plan Act expanded an existing tax credit and distributed the money on a monthly basis rather than through annual tax returns. Since July, the policy has sent monthly payments of between $250 and $300 to parents of eligible families.

Here in Connecticut, Larson said the tax credit expansion helped the families of 583,000 children.

But those families received their last payments under the program in mid-December and an extension proposal included in the Build Back Better bill seemed unlikely to pass as the Democrats’ social spending plan languished. in the US Senate.

Larson said he was optimistic the bill, a version of which the House passed in November, could see a narrowly divided Senate vote if Democrats overcome opposition from Republicans by voting to revise the filibuster rules. system of the room.

However, that outcome seemed unlikely as Democratic senses Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kysten Sinema of Arizona both signaled last week that they would not support changing the rules.

At Monday’s press conference, Larson dismissed those political realities and said a vote should take place.

“Most of the United States, frankly, is not caught up in the closure vote and the filibuster. It gets away from them,” Larson said. “What they want is for the country to work together to solve problems and the child tax credit goes a long way towards solving major problems and lifting so many children out of poverty in the richest country in the world. I think there will be continued pressure to ensure that this vote takes place.

Without congressional action, the child tax credit will not cease to exist, but it will once again become a benefit that families will see every year when they file their taxes. Bronin said the change would negatively impact families, including some in Hartford, who are struggling to make ends meet.

“There are thousands of children in this small town who regularly go to bed hungry and if there were no school meals they wouldn’t know for sure whether they would be having breakfast or a lunch every day,” Bronin said. “A budget for food or for rent or for health care or for a warm winter coat or for school supplies is not paid annually. It is paid daily, weekly, monthly.