At an event in Washington state last week, President Joe Biden appeared to blame Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) for the expiration of popular enhanced child tax credit payments.
“We’re one Democrat and 50 Republicans short of stopping it from going through this time around,” he said. “But it really fundamentally changed the lives of millions of people.”
From July to December 2021, the US bailout-approved measure provided eligible parents with up to $3,600 for a child under the age of six and up to $3,000 for children between the ages of six and ten. seven years. Broken down, this equated to a payment of $250 or $300 for each child each month. Those eligible households were also eligible for the second half of the tax credit if they filed a federal tax return this year.
For these improved appropriations to continue for another twelve months, Democrats must pass the highly controversial Build Back Better bill. The bill has stalled, largely due to opposition from Manchin, who, like most Republicans, argues that extending the appropriations would only discourage people from working and that any additional federal spending will only exacerbate inflationary pressures.
In a statement to Initiated, Manchin spokeswoman Samantha Runyon said that “Sen. Manchin has always supported the existing Child Tax Credit which is still in place despite the end of the pandemic emergency enhancement at the end of 2021,” adding that he supports policies that reward “working families hard” in a context of record inflation.
“He also made it clear that any changes to our social safety nets would have to go through regular order,” she continued.
Without Building Back Better, the maximum child tax credit has been reduced by $1,000 per school-aged child and $1,600 per child under six. In addition, millions of families with the lowest incomes in the country are once again ineligible for credits.
And it seems that this is already having dramatic consequences. Research from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University found that 3.4 million more children lived in poverty in February than in December, an increase of 38%.
Additionally, a survey by ParentsTogether Action found that about 20% of parents admitted that since the monthly payments stopped, they couldn’t afford enough groceries. Additionally, 57% said it will be more difficult for them to provide for their family’s basic needs and 22% said they will no longer be able to provide for their family’s basic needs.
“After six months of child tax credit payments, it’s clear that American parents have used this money to pay for families’ basic needs: food, shelter and child care,” noted Bethany Robertson, co-director by ParentsTogether. statement.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington State-based finance and technology editor who has held positions at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow him or contact him on LinkedIn.