“A Policy Revolution” “Seismic Impact”
Washington, D.C. – This weekend, the U.S. Senate passed the American Rescue Plan, which included Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s proposal to expand the Child Tax Credit. This provision, based on Bennet’s American Family Act, will send much-needed relief to struggling families in Colorado and lift millions of kids out of poverty nationwide.
Read more about what they’re saying about Bennet’s Child Tax Credit expansion included in the American Rescue Plan:
New York Times: In the Stimulus Bill, a Policy Revolution in Aid for Children
“Obscured by other parts of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which won Senate approval on Saturday, the child benefit has the makings of a policy revolution. Though framed in technocratic terms as an expansion of an existing tax credit, it is essentially a guaranteed income for families with children, akin to children’s allowances that are common in other rich countries.
“Efforts to increase the benefit and include the needy drew strong support from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and was led in the Senate by the Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a progressive, and Michael Bennet of Colorado, a centrist. A majority of Democrats in both chambers were on board when unemployment surged because of the coronavirus.”
“The second provision is a more generous and fully refundable child tax credit. Biden almost doubles the size of the child tax credit, increasing the maximum credit to $3,600 per year for each kid under the age of six ($3,000 for children ages 6 to 17). And for the first time ever, the poorest families with little or no income would receive the full benefit. Finally, the 39% of children in families too poor to receive the full child tax credit will no longer get left behind.
“These proposed changes will have a seismic impact across America, but they are poised to make an even bigger difference to families who need help the most: families of color often with low earnings. Take, for example, the child tax credit. Most families with children would benefit, but families of color, who are more likely to have dependent children, will benefit more relative to their current income. Families in the bottom fifth of income, typically making less than $21,000 in a year, would see a boost in income by more than one-third. Plus, the benefits would be delivered monthly, helping put food on the table and pay rent at a time when jobs are scarce and food insecurity is on the rise. This plan is expected to go a long way to combating child poverty, cutting the rate in half.
“Democratic Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Suzan DelBene, and Ritchie Torres are leading this charge in the House, and Democratic Senators Michael Bennet and Sherrod Brown call for it in the Senate with regard to the Child Tax Credit. We also need to pair it with a massive and permanent expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, extending coverage to essential workers during emergencies, older workers, younger workers and the long-term unemployed.”
“Several Republicans said they liked the idea of expanding the child tax credit. However, none supported the Democratic proposal, which is modeled on the American Family Act, a bill first introduced in 2018 by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). Every Republican has voted against the broader rescue package so far; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the child tax provisions ‘a brand-new, sprawling cash welfare program.’
“Democrats’ proposal would significantly reduce child poverty — not only because of the expanded checks, but because they are getting rid of the income-based phase-in for the benefit. Americans won’t need to have any income in order to qualify.
“That’s been of particular concern during the coronavirus pandemic, as many American families have struggled to maintain employment and support their families without adequate child care or consistent schooling options in place.”
New York Times: To Juice the Economy, Biden Bets on the Poor
“The Tax Policy Center in Washington estimates that the direct payments and expanded tax credits in the bill would, by themselves, increase after-tax income this year by more than 20 percent for an average household in the lowest quintile of income earners in the United States. It previously had forecast that Mr. Trump’s tax cuts would raise that same group’s income by less than 1 percent in the first year.
“‘It is as far away as you can get from regressive, supply-side economics,’ said Senator Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado, a longtime champion of an expanded child tax credit to fight poverty. ‘This is progressive economics that puts money in the hands of working people who will spend that money.’
“Previous economic aid packages, including those signed by Mr. Trump last March, helped unemployed workers and low earners weather the crisis thus far and even, in many cases, save some money. Research from the JPMorgan Chase Institute shows that low earners spent those savings down faster in the summer than higher earners, which suggests that they could use more help in the recovery and would most likely put that money to work in the economy.”
“The American Rescue Plan would establish a year-long guaranteed income stream for families through an expansion of the Child Tax Credit.
“This has long been a goal of Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who with other Democrats hopes to make the change permanent. ‘More than 10 million children are going to be lifted out of poverty, over half of African American children who are living in poverty would be lifted out of poverty,’ Bennet said on MSNBC.”
WATCH: Denver 7: Bennet Pushing Hard for Child Tax Credit Expansion