Senator Kirsten Gillibran says she will push for permanence of aid that has major impact on Latino communities.
While the third $1,400 economic stimulus check remains the most well-known program of the American Recovery Plan (ARP), child tax assistance has been battling it well in popularity because of how it would directly impact families’ finances.
Let’s take it one step at a time, though. There has already been a child tax credit in place since 2017, which provides between $1,400 and $2,000 per child under the age of 17, which is claimed when Americans file their taxes.
The current credit takes income into account, so individuals earning more than $200,000 annually or couples earning $400,000 per year would receive less relief money.
Democrats took an additional step, increasing this one-time support to $1,600. The ARP states that parents can apply for $3,600 for children under age 6 and $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17.
Starting in July, parents will be able to claim the funds, which would be sent by the IRS on a monthly basis, between $250 and $300 depending on the case.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand felt it was important to keep the debate about leaving that program permanent.
“I think this child tax credit can transform the fight against poverty…putting resources into the hands of families for children would alleviate child poverty, this is really important,” she said.
He said that even of putting attention on food stamps or SNAP and housing assistance and other “basic human rights,” as well as securing temporary furlough compensation, something he will push to make permanent.
“I’m going to push for it so that women workers can afford the needs of their families … again, this disproportionate impact on women of color, because they’re also proportionately the ones taking care of families,” she said.
Economists have pointed out that the child tax credit, because it targets child poverty, provides funding for food and education.
At least 83 million children will benefit from the funds in 2021, according to the Fiscal and Economic Policy Institute.
For now there are no firm plans to make the expanded benefit permanent, but economist Andrés Vinelli, CAP’s Vice President of Economic Policies stressed that it would be necessary to consider it.
“There are studies that estimate that a payment of these characteristics, monthly, would cause child poverty to be reduced by half, which is a lot,” he told this newspaper.
The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that the extended aid will lift 9.9 million children away from the poverty line, mostly from African-American and Latino communities.
President Joe Biden’s administration has taken up those arguments to defend the program, but has not said whether it would support making it permanent.
“It would reduce the number of children living in poverty by 5 million this year and cut child poverty in half,” boasted White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Among Republicans, the position is divided, as the most conservative consider that the aid could be taken as “a pretext” for parents not to look for work, while the most liberal see it as a good idea. In fact, Senator Mitt Romney (Utah) presented a plan with benefits of up to $4,200 per child under 6 years of age.