Millions of families will receive a monthly child tax credit payment next week. It could be the last.
The families of some 61 million children were able to see theirend after next week if Congress doesn’t move quickly. The Build Back Better Act, which was passed in the House, includes a monthly payments, but the legislation still faces obstacles in the Senate.
The IRS has told some lawmakers the bill must be passed by Dec. 28 for payments to continue smoothly through January, according to Senate and House advisers. So far, the monthly payments have been distributed on or around the 15th of each month, which means the January 15th payment could be compromised.
Eligible families will receive their sixth and final monthly payment under the US bailout on December 15. Payments – $ 300 per child under six and $ 250 per child aged 6 to 17 – began in July. Now Democratic lawmakers are rushing to keep them.
“I’m very worried. Disruption is the right word, and families are counting on it to pay the rent, do the groceries, pay for a few hours of child care so they can stay at work,” said Senator Michael Bennet, who has been a champion of extended monthly payments. “We should fight very hard not to disturb him at the end of the year.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday the vote on the president’s roughly $ 2 trillion social spending program, including extended child tax credit payments, was still pending. good way before Christmas.
âFamilies need to know that essential programs like the child tax credit will continue without interruption,â he said Monday. “This program has already done millions and millions of families tremendous good.”
The American Rescue Plan not only expanded the tax credit and divided it into monthly payments, but it also made the child tax credit fully refundable, meaning families too poor to qualify. the benefit may have participated in the past. The Build Back Better Act would make this full refund permanent.
The monthly payments have reduced the number of children living in poverty in the United States by more than 40% – which would be wiped out without an extension, the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has warned.
Before the payments, the families of 27 million children, about half of them Black and Latino children and those in rural communities, received less than the total amount of credit received by higher-income children.
An estimated 9.9 million children are at risk of falling below the poverty line if the expansion is not sustained, according to CBPP. This includes 3.8 million Latino children, 2.9 million whites, 2.1 million blacks, 426,000 Asian children, and 280,000 Native American children.
More broadly, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on Wednesday it was time for the Senate to act on the Build Back Better package to meet the Christmas deadline.
âWe have to do better rebuild,â Warren said. “We have talked and talked and talked and talked. It’s not like we need to talk more about it to understand what this bill is and what it does. People need help.”
But West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin this week postponed the process used to pass the legislation. He also said he could not yet say whether he supported the bill, having not seen the final text.
âI’ve never seen a situation where we couldn’t make up for whatever you thought was wasting time,â Manchin said Wednesday of the emergency surrounding the child tax credit. “I’m just saying no matter what, it shouldn’t be done on time. You should get the right bill.”
However, the White House and House Democrats are urging their Senate counterparts to pass the social spending package quickly.
“Absolutely, we are concerned as millions of Americans should be,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday of the extension, noting that it was part of the domestic policy agenda. Of the president.
Members of the House passed the president’s social spending program along party lines just before Thanksgiving. However, Democrats face an even tighter challenge in the Senate. They need all 50 Democrats to vote for the legislation to pass – with Vice President Kamala Harris voting to break the tie.