What They’re Saying: Thanks to President Biden and Democrats, Child Tax Credits Will be “Life-Altering” for Families Across the Country

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, an expanded child tax credit will soon cut child poverty nearly in half and deliver benefits to the families of 88% of children in the United States. As columnist Liz Weston put it, “For some, the money will be a lifeline to pay rent, food and other essential expenses. For others, the cash could be a chance to make lasting changes that could help them become more financially stable.” 

This much-needed relief comes despite every single Republican in Congress, who unanimously voted to block it. While Republicans continue to speak out against help for the middle class, President Biden and Democrats are fighting to pass the American Families Plan to extend the enhanced child tax credit and permanently make it fully refundable. 

Here’s a look at what voters in states across the country are reading about President Biden’s child tax credit:

In Pennsylvania:

The Times Leader: Liz Weston: The checks that could change your financial life

Starting in July, most families with kids will start getting monthly payments of up to $300 per child as part of the American Rescue Plan’s expansion of the child tax credit.

The payments are scheduled to end in December, and it’s unclear whether they will be extended. But even six months of payments could make a big difference in many families’ finances.

For some, the money will be a lifeline to pay rent, food and other essential expenses. For others, the cash could be a chance to make lasting changes that could help them become more financially stable.

In West Virginia:

Beckley Register-Herald: Op-Ed: Tax credits would be “life-altering” for some

But what folks should really be asking is, “What would families do?” with a boost in their bank accounts from a permanent expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. 

Pay utility bills on time, pay for car insurance, buy new underwear and a pack of toothbrushes – these are just some of the items on Mary Reinbold’s wishlist. She’s a single mom who works as a loan document processor at a local banking institution. With an extra $250 in her own bank account every month – the amount she would get in monthly installments from the expanded Child Tax Credit – she’s even started to dream about being able to afford a spontaneous ice cream cone from the corner store for her 7-year-old daughter. 

“This would be life-altering for me and my family,” Mary said. “I won’t have to take toilet paper from the gas station bathrooms anymore. Did you know you’re supposed to change your toothbrush every three months?”

In Maine:

Bangor Daily News: Pandemic relief gave families a path out of poverty. Let’s make it permanent.

But good things have come out of that hardship. Late last month, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, which expands the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. The expansion of the Child Tax Credit will put up to $3,600 more a year, per child, into the hands of nearly every family with children, many of whom desperately need it. The expansion will bring more than $435 million to Maine families. And starting this summer, that amount will be paid monthly, which will be a huge boon for parents who struggle to earn enough to pay the more than $1,000 a month it costs to house, feed and clothe a child.

In Maryland:

Baltimore Sun: Cutting child poverty in half is within our grasp | READER COMMENTARY

President Joe Biden also proposes extending the increased child tax credit amount ($3,000-plus per child) until 2025. These steps are important, but Congress must make all the changes permanent, including the credit increase. Columbia University estimates this new child tax credit will cut child poverty by 45%. We can pay for this by asking the wealthy and corporations to finally pay their fair share.

If you could cut child poverty in half, why would you not do it? I urge our representatives and senators to make the new CTC and EITC provisions at 2021 levels permanent in recovery legislation.