Ensuring Federal Laws Reflect Our Country’s Values

 

As the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Michael Bennet saw every day how growing up in poverty shapes a child’s future in ways that are deeply unfair. That’s why Michael has been a tireless advocate for expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for several years. 

In 2017, Michael introduced the American Family Act with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to overhaul the existing CTC and create a new $300 per-month per-child credit for children under 6 years of age and a $250 per-month per-child credit for children 6 to 17 years of age, and for the first time, making the credit fully refundable, and delivering payments on a monthly basis.

In March 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law a one-year expansion of the CTC, based on Bennet’s American Family Act, in the American Rescue Plan Act.  This expansion will cut child poverty in nearly half nationwide this year and benefit nearly 90 percent of Colorado children.

In his American Families Plan announced in April 2021, President Biden proposed permanent, full refundability of the CTC, as well as  extending the expanded CTC value and monthly payments through 2025. The President also committed to working with Congress to make the expanded CTC permanent. 

Michael continues to work with the administration and his colleagues in Congress to ensure any final recovery plan includes making the entire CTC expansion permanent.

Fighting for Equality

It is past time for federal laws to be entirely free from discrimination. Michael supports the Equality Act, which would explicitly ban discrimination against LGBTQ Americans and add further protections against sex discrimination. In his efforts to create a world in which women are treated as equals to their male peers, Michael continues to call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the gender pay gap and secure protections for women’s access to safe and affordable health care. 

Protecting Voting Rights

Michael knows our democracy is stronger when everyone’s voice is heard. In this vein, Michael has advocated for policies that not only protect access to the ballot, but also encourage greater participation. He supports expanding voting protections, changing redistricting laws that suppress the voting rights of minorities, and simplifying the voting process through measures, such as same-day registration.

Improving the Justice System

For years, Michael has championed bipartisan legislation to reduce the national rape kit backlog. In 2017, the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act passed into law, extending the Sexual Assault Forensic Reporting program across the country.

Michael stands behind Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana and is working in Washington to advance policies that protect both the state and legitimate cannabis businesses’ rights. He has introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure marijuana businesses can access banking services to increase public safety and improve government compliance.

Michael also supports efforts to reform our criminal justice system, which disproportionately affects people of color across the country, by reducing mandatory minimum sentences for low-level offenses and increasing resources for individuals reentering their communities.

Ending the Gun Violence Epidemic

Michael believes we cannot accept the gun violence epidemic in this country as a normal condition of American life. Unlike in Washington, Colorado’s legislators made tough choices after the state suffered two of the worst mass shootings in the nation’s history. After the massacre in Columbine, they closed the gun show loophole. After the tragedy in Aurora, they strengthened background checks. Michael supports legislation in the Senate to similarly close loopholes, improve background checks, and extend mental health services at the national level. Michael views this issue not as taking guns away from people, but from keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

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