Senator Joe Manchin is facing pressure from local leaders and parents to take action to expand the child tax credit.
Gathered at the West Virginia State Capitol on Friday, advocates stood holding signs with testimonials from parents as well as posters reading “Child Checks Keep Families Afloat” and “We Can’t Wait for Care.”
“We need the help that the Extended Child Tax Credit can provide us, and I’m begging for Senator Manchin in Washington, D.C. to hear us out,” said Kristen Olson, a mother and teacher, on the steps from the lecture. Capital.
“I’m very angry about it,” said Olsson. newsweek after the event. “It’s like a dirty, wicked trick. How can they only provide this to us for six months, and then take it when the prices of everything are going up?”
This week, for the first time since July, increased checks of $250 or $300 will not be distributed to eligible families.
President Joe Biden’s US rescue plan, passed in March 2021, expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for each child aged 6 to 17, or $3,000 per child under age 6. , but the enhanced tax credit ended. end of last year.
The US House of Representatives passed a 12-month extension of benefits in November as part of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act. Since then, legislation has stalled as Republicans in an equally divided chamber in the Senate and Manchin said they would not vote for the bill.
Munchkin was critical of plans to expand the child tax credit during talks on the Build Back Better agenda. He has said he would not support increased benefits without adding a work requirement for parents, and expressed disappointment that higher-income families may qualify for the credit.
“I’ve always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it,'” Manchin announced in a statement last month that he was “no” on the Build Back Better legislation. as written. “Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the comprehensive Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this massive legislation.”
When contacted Friday for comment on statements made by West Virginians, a spokesperson for Munchkin said newsweek: “Senator Manchin has always supported the Child Tax Credit and wants to target it to the families who need it most.”
But local leaders and parents in West Virginia said Friday that the increased gains seen over the past six months are more important than ever as they see their daily bills rise as a result of inflation.
“Families in West Virginia are losing the child tax credit at a time when the bills are outrageous,” said Joanna Vance, a parent at Recovery Community. “Bills cost more, we already know that food costs more. This is a time when we need the Child Tax Credit more than ever.”
Another speaker at Friday’s event, Angelica Willis, highlighted that West Virginia has the sixth highest poverty rate in the country and is 3.7 percent higher than the national average.
“We should be given a chance, given a chance to fight for the future, West Virginia, for the future of our children,” Willis said. “This expansion will give us an opportunity to rise above and change these numbers.”
One Analysis A recent estimate from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy estimated that expanded child tax credit payments reached 93 percent of children in the state last year. If the increased benefits are authorized again, the group said, 50,000 children with the lowest income in the state would go below the poverty line or deeper into poverty.
“No state has been more affected by the expanded child tax credit than West Virginia,” Kelly Allen, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said Friday. “Similarly, no state has more to lose if it is not extended.”