The day that millions of cash-strapped Americans have been anxiously waiting for has finally arrived—the disbursement of the expanded child tax credits that were approved under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
The Treasury Department has noted that $15 billion in payments have been issued to the families of approximately sixty million children. An estimated forty million families are in line to receive these recurring monthly checks through the end of the year.
Due to Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, the government will now allow parents to bag 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. Broken down monthly, this all amounts to a $250 or a $300 payment for each child through the end of December.
“This tax cut will give our nation’s hardworking families with children a little more breathing room when it comes to putting food on the table, paying the bills, and making ends meet,” Biden said in a statement, adding that about 90 percent of all children in the country will see direct benefits from the child tax credits.
“Across the nation, organizations that advocate for children, faith-based organizations and elected officials are holding events, training volunteers, announcing strategies to sign up the lowest income families, and using social media to explain how the Child Tax Credit will cut child poverty and why we must extend it through the American Families Plan,” he continued.
Expand Credits Permanently?
In recent weeks, some Washington lawmakers and ordinary citizens have called on Congress to make the expansion of these credits permanent.
“We have a real opportunity to not just throw money at a problem, but to … lift up all children and families,” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said during a press conference on Wednesday.
A permanent expansion of the credits could become a real possibility—at least until 2025—if the nearly $2 trillion American Families Plan eventually receives approval by Congress.
“The new Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan is only for 2021—but President Biden’s American Families Plan proposes extending the credit for years and years to come,” the White House stated.
A recent report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation has revealed that a permanent expansion of the child tax credits could lift more than four million children out of poverty. Approximately ten million children currently live in poverty in the United States, U.S. Census Bureau data show.
“Every child needs food, health care and safe and stable housing. Millions of households with children already lacked these necessities before the pandemic,” the report says.
“To continue on progress already made on recovery, the foundation recommends: making the expansion of the federal child tax credit permanent,” it adds.
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.