Denver – Last week, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law, which included Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s proposal to expand the Child Tax Credit. This provision, based on Bennet’s and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) American Family Act, will send much-needed relief to struggling families in Colorado and lift millions of kids out of poverty nationwide.
Here’s what they’re saying about Bennet’s Child Tax Credit expansion included in the American Rescue Plan:
“President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan on Thursday. While the headline is the $1,400 stimulus payments that will arrive in bank accounts soon, unemployment and small business bailouts, the bill also expands and enhances the existing child tax credit so it is more effective, more equitable and well, simply, more. The idea has been pushed by Colorado’s Sen. Michael Bennet and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio for years now. A version of it was included in the Republican’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as the $2,000 child tax credit.
“Bennet told me in an interview Thursday that the idea sprang from town halls where he heard from middle-class families that they couldn’t afford to save for the future and provide their children with some combination of housing, health care, or higher education. It was a general sense, Bennet said, that ‘we can’t save and we think our kids are going to live a more diminished life than we did, and we are already living a harder life than our parents did.’
“And for those in poverty, working multiple jobs to earn a living wage, it was a sense of being trapped in an unbreakable cycle. The kind of poverty where the hard decisions aren’t between health care and college but between heat on a cold winter’s day and a gallon of milk for the kids. Parents aren’t just saying no to treats at the grocery store but telling a hungry four-year-old there’s not another helping of chicken to be had.
“The genius of Bennet’s plan is that it takes the existing tax credit and increases it to $3,000 ($3,600 for children under the age of 6) and allocates the credit’s value monthly. Parents will begin receiving $250 ($300 for younger kids) payments every month. That will make the value go further. It could pay for pre-school or child care or groceries or even health insurance premiums.”
“Much of the credit for the expansion of the federal child tax credit, one of the most significant items in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, belongs to Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D).
“Why it matters: The policy, which Bennet has championed since 2017, is considered revolutionary for how it creates a guaranteed income for families, a so-called Social Security for kids that is common in other wealthy countries.
“The backdrop: Bennet credits his tenure as Denver public schools superintendent for driving home the need.
“‘We spend lots of money and effort trying to remediate the problems created by childhood poverty instead of seeking to eliminate it,’ he said.”
WATCH: All In with Chris Hayes: Senator Bennet Discusses the Tremendous Impact the Expanded Child Tax Credit Will Have On 90% of Kids in America