We Owe It To Our Communities To Make The Child Tax Credit Permanent. Here’s Why.
Americans across the political spectrum know that our economy is broken. After covering the monthly costs of housing, utilities, and other required expenses, many working- and middle-class families have little remaining for items like food, clothing, and day care. This is especially true in states like New York, and in counties like Westchester and Rockland, where the cost of living is high.
I know this struggle firsthand. Growing up in the Village of Spring Valley, I watched my mother work multiple jobs to support our family. We still needed Section 8 housing and food stamps just to get by. When day care was too expensive, my grandmother, who helped raise me, took me to work with her.
I ran for Congress so that no family would have to struggle like mine. In helping to pass the American Rescue Plan, I voted with my fellow Democrats to establish one of the most powerful safety net programs in American history: the expanded Child Tax Credit. We increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under six years old, and we increased it from $2,000 to $3,000 for children ages six and above.
Families qualify for the full credit if their income is below $75,000 for single filers, $112,000 for people filing as head of household, or $150,000 for people who are married and filing jointly.
The American Rescue Plan also makes the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the first time, ensuring everyone who meets the eligibility requirements receives the complete benefit. Notably, the credit is advanced, so families can begin receiving relief now instead of having to wait until they file taxes next year.
Last week, the expanded, fully refundable Child Tax Credit payments — up to $300 per child per month — started hitting the bank accounts and mailboxes of millions of families.
The impact is difficult to overstate. 122,000 children, or 65% of all children, in New York’s 17th Congressional District will benefit. 34,900 households in this district will receive an average annual benefit of $3,300. More than 11,700 children in this district will be lifted out of poverty. Nationwide, Democrats are cutting child poverty in half through this program.
For families like the one I grew up in, and so many others, these payments will be transformative. It will mean having to worry less about where the next meal is coming from, or about the cost of child care, which remains so expensive that we must make it universal through my bill with Senator Elizabeth Warren called the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act.
The expanded Child Tax Credit is not only a historic tax cut for families; it’s also an investment in the future of our nation. By helping to ensure parents and caregivers have the resources they need to support their children, we are helping to set every child up for a lifetime of success.
When our young people have their basic needs met, they’re better able to focus and remain engaged in the classroom. And when parents aren’t forced to choose between housing payments and childcare expenses, they’re able to remain in or reenter the workforce, benefitting their families, our communities and our economy.
I have already heard from so many people in Westchester and Rockland about what the expanded Child Tax Credit means for their families. This is the kind of government we can have when Democrats are in charge — one that delivers real economic relief for the American people. An economy in which every child, parent, and family is able not just to survive, but to thrive.
That’s why I’m fighting alongside House Democrats to make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent.