Here's What You Need to Remember: Galen Hendricks, a research associate at the Center for American Progress, fully agreed with such sentiments. “The expanded Child Tax Credit and monthly payments will immediately help to pull the economy out of the recession, and immensely help families who are struggling right now,” he told The National Interest.
For millions of American parents with multiple children to take care of, the current third round of $1,400 coronavirus stimulus checks under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan did little to mollify their financial struggles.
However, as many parents are now surely aware, nearly forty million families will start receiving monthly cash payments this week via the expanded child tax credits. Thanks to Biden’s highly ambitious $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, the government now allows parents to collect as much as $3,600 per year for a child under the age of six and up to $3,000 for children between ages six and seventeen.
This all means that a $250 or a $300 cash payment for each child will head into the bank accounts of eligible parents every month through the rest of 2021.
But what will happen when 2022 rolls around? Will these still cash-strapped parents and their children be forced to fend for themselves as the pandemic continues to be a factor in certain pockets of the country?
Against this unsettling backdrop, a group of Democratic lawmakers—which includes Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.)—is once again calling for the expansion to the child tax credit to be made permanent.
“We have a real opportunity to not just throw money at a problem, but to ... lift up all children and families,” DeLauro said during a press conference on Wednesday.
Brown added during a recent interview: “We all talk about how important families are and raising our children are the most important thing we can do but so many people can’t do it. It’s such a challenge. Raising kids is work. We should reward families and give families a chance.”
There are other notable backers as well, such as Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who has introduced a bill that aims to extend the child tax credit permanently. “For our economy to fully recover from this pandemic, we must finally acknowledge that workers have families, and caregiving responsibilities are real,” he noted.
For months, the lawmakers have contended that making these credits permanent would go a long way to helping low-income families and their children. In fact, a recent report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed that such a permanent expansion could potentially lift more than four million children out of poverty.
“These important recent improvements to the child tax credit are expected to cut child poverty in half,” Michael Cassidy, director of policy reform and advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, told The National Interest.
“We can do that next year, and the year after that if our elected leaders take the steps needed to make these improvements permanent,” he added.
Galen Hendricks, a research associate at the Center for American Progress, fully agreed with such sentiments.
“The expanded Child Tax Credit and monthly payments will immediately help to pull the economy out of the recession, and immensely help families who are struggling right now,” he told The National Interest.
“Research has also shown that there are significant long-term benefits from these investments in children and families, which can improve child health, increase educational attainment, and even raise future earnings and economic mobility. By making these changes permanent, Congress can dramatically improve the lives of millions, create a stronger and more resilient economy, and keep millions of children and families out of poverty,” he added.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-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. This article is being republished due to reader interest.