Expanded Child Tax Credit “Must Be In” Final Build Back Better Act, Says Sen. Ed Markey

Senator Ed Markey and health professionals from Boston Medical Center urged the US Senate on Monday to quickly pass President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ Build Back Better Act with the one-year extension of the child tax credit expanded that has already been lifted over 3 million children out of poverty.

The House’s approval of the Build Back Better Act on Friday paved the way for extending credit through the 2022 tax season, but Markey, other progressive lawmakers and many health officials say the improved credit should be permanent. The Comprehensive Bill and the Credit Extension face challenges and little wiggle room in the Senate, where West Virginia Conservative Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has expressed concerns about the price tag and lobbied for parents to be eligible. the child tax credit.

“We have now seen the evidence of the impact of the child tax credit, so we don’t want to go back,” Markey said when asked if he would describe the extension as “non-negotiable” at the Final Senate. wrap. “From my perspective, it has to be in place. We have a moral obligation to ensure that families have the resources they need to care for their children. This has been demonstrated since July when the first checks started arriving. The evidence is overwhelming.

First approved as part of COVID-19 relief in the $ 1.9 trillion US bailout package signed by Biden in March, the provision raised the maximum credit from $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 for children 6 to 17 years old and $ 3,600 for children under 6 years old. It also enabled taxpayers to receive monthly payments of $ 250 to $ 300 in advance – which lifted at least 3 million children out of poverty soon after the checks began to hit bank accounts in July, according to a study by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University.

More than 667,000 child tax credit payments were made to families in Massachusetts in November. Since payments began this summer, the Internal Revenue Service has sent about $ 15 billion nationwide, representing credit payments to families of about 60 million children.

“Sen. Manchin wants a work requirement, but parenting children is already work,” Markey said, eliciting laughter from healthcare professionals. “We are only acknowledging the reality of the structure of our company. So we are going to put pressure on Senator Manchin to accept this extension of the child tax credit with no work requirement. President Biden will discuss this with Senator Manchin. We will work very hard before Christmas to resolve this. problem.

Lucy Marcil, a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center and executive director of StreetCred – a nonprofit organization that has helped more than 5,000 families access financial services such as tax filing since 2016 – said the credit Improved children’s tax “really transformed lives.”

StreetCred has helped approximately 200 newborn families discover and access improved credit, putting nearly $ 750,000 in parents’ pockets to help with food, rent, medicine and child care, a she declared.

When a single mother, whose baby is Marcil’s patient, learned that she was eligible for a $ 300 advance payment for the Child Tax Credit – a check that would not count towards the voucher limits. ‘feeding -‘ his eyes lit up. She told me that this regular cash payment would allow her to return to work. She wanted to return to work to ensure the economic well-being of her family, but she could not afford to look after her children. And now she can.

“Many of my patient families have been excluded from economic opportunities their entire lives,” continued Marcil, herself pregnant. “By bringing together the transformative power of the Child Tax Credit, the grassroots community work we do here at StreetCred and BMC, we have the opportunity to empower all families economically.”

Julio Shum, who helps connect Boston Medical Center pediatric clinic patients and families with social needs, said the child tax credit has been a “lifeline” for many low-income patients and their family members who lost their jobs or stable income during the pandemic. The monthly checks helped families pick up diapers, wipes, clothes and other necessities, he said.

“I saw first-hand how the child tax credit has helped families thrive,” Shum told reporters.

When asked after the press conference if any senators were pushing for a permanent improved child tax credit in the bill, Markey said the target was just one more year – for the moment.

“We are trying to set a precedent,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing for the bill to pass by Christmas. Any changes will force him to come home before he can make it to Biden’s office. Markey said he and Senator Elizabeth Warren would return to Washington, DC on Monday to fight for the credit package and extension.

Columbia researchers said in August that the first payment reached more than 59 million children.

“If all potentially eligible children are covered, this has the potential to reduce monthly child poverty by up to 40% on its own,” they wrote. “In combination with all the COVID-related relief, this could contribute to a 52% reduction in monthly child poverty. “

Associated content:

  • US Representative Richard Neal welcomes passage of Build Back Better Act after “quite remarkable week” in Washington
  • “We don’t want a delay” in the child tax credit over $ 3,000, says Rep. Jim McGovern; payments could lift 55,000 Massachusetts children out of poverty


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