Plans to extend the child tax credit payments until 2025 might be shortened to 2023 after President Joe Biden informed the Democrats that his original "Build Back Better" proposal could get several funding cuts.
According to reports, Biden met with the House and Senate Democrats on October 26 to negotiate the child tax credit extension. However, some have expressed disappointment that the President has been keen on just a one-year extension following mounting pressures from the Republicans to review the administration's spending plan for the new programs.
Rep. Rose DeLauro of Connecticut believes that changing from four years to one year is a "very big mistake" and a "missed opportunity" that will impact the whole country. The Democrat vowed that she will "continue to press for a more enduring framework" for American families, suggesting that the negotiations at the House and Senate are not yet final.
Reducing Childhood Poverty
An enhancement of the child tax credit was initially part of the American Rescue Plan to help families cope with the fallout of the pandemic, with the first six-monthly rollouts given from July to December 2021. The second half of the payment will be given when taxpayers file in April 2022. If the extension is approved, families may enjoy the credit until the 2023 tax year.
This payment has afforded parents, who received between $250 to $300 per child per month, to pay for school supplies, utility bills, grocery items, and other necessities. Supporters of child tax credit said that over 3.5 million children in poverty benefitted from the monthly rollouts. The first payment alone reduced the childhood poverty rate by 25 percent.
Experts said that if the program remains until 2025, which was Biden's election promise, the childhood poverty rate could drop by as much as 40 percent in a typical year. This means alleviation from hunger and hardships for over 4.3 million kids in the U.S.
"They've never experienced this type of income predictability each month," Emma Mehrabi of the Child Defense Fund told ABC News. "[This] has maybe given them a little bit of extra boost, a sense of security and relief and joy."
Kris Cox of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said that the extension would help the U.S. catch up with other progressive nations that invest in their children at the start of their life.
However, some government officials, such as Sen. Joe Manchin, said that the child tax credit extension should be applied only to families with a yearly income of $60,000 or lower. His suggestion has already divided the Democrats because some of Biden's party mates want the extension to be broader and more significant for the next four years.
Going Back to the Norm
Meanwhile, as government officials debate the child tax credit extension, some mothers are phasing themselves out and going back to the norm and budget they've had before the rollout. One mom said that she has to be realistic and plan carefully if the payments disappear permanently.
The child tax credit was established in 1997 with lower payments and less eligibility. Previously, families only received credits of less than $167 a month per child under 16 years old. Currently, 39 million households with 88 percent of children are the beneficiaries.
© 2021 ParentHerald.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.