If the Build Back Better legislation had already been passed by Congress, roughly 36 million American families would be in line to receive their second payment of the year from the enhanced child tax credit.
However, without the highly contentious bill, the enhanced version of the popular credits is stuck in limbo—much to the dismay of many still financially struggling American parents.
Mothers Demand CTC
It was just last week when a small group of mothers from West Virginia arrived at the U.S. Capital to plead with their senators and representatives to bring back the enhanced child tax credit, which between July and December provided eligible parents as much as $3,600 for a child under the age of six and up to $3,000 for children between ages six and seventeen. This means that a $250 or a $300 payment for each child was directly deposited or sent off via traditional mail to parents each month.
These CTC-eligible households are now entitled to the second half of the tax credit money when they file a tax return.
“Using our children as scapegoats, pushing them back into poverty after offering them a hand up, is not only unacceptable, it’s unbearable and un-American,” Amy Jo Hutchison, an anti-poverty activist and mother of two from Wheeling, West Virginia, told HuffPost.
Not Giving Up Hope
Earlier this week, though, Democratic lawmakers asserted that they are not giving up hope on extending the credits. In fact, Democrats believe that they can garner the support of holdout Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has contended for weeks that extending the credits would only discourage people from working and that any additional federal spending would only exacerbate current red-hot inflationary pressures.
“Sen. Manchin has not slammed the door on this,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) noted during a news conference on Tuesday, per NBC News.
“We know over the last six months that people have spent the money the way we said they were going to spend the money, which was to buy groceries, to pay for rent, really importantly to pay for child care so they could stay at work,” he continued.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut said that she has sent off additional material to Manchin that aims to answer his questions and that “we’re not, you know, throwing in the towel on this.”
“We want the partnership of all of the Democrats and Sen. Manchin and answering the questions,” she continued. “And again, the data over and over again supports some of the issues that he had concerns about and we’re going to keep at that and the American people are going to keep at that as well.”
However, Manchin, in an exchange with reporters, told them that he is “not a part of any organized discussions” regarding the enhanced credits.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.