With his stated opposition to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act on Sunday, West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin appears to have scuttled the possibility of American parents receiving hundreds of dollars in monthly direct payments in the New Year, according to Newsweek.
Build Back Better Act
For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have asked the federal government to provide additional stimulus checks or recurring monthly payments. Lawmakers have repeatedly cited the Child Tax Credit, which was passed as part of Biden’s American Rescue Plan in the spring, as a possible alternative to the fourth round of stimulus checks.
Ten days before Christmas, families across the country received their final child tax credit payments of 2021 on Dec. 15. If the Senate fails to pass Biden’s $1.7 trillion economic plan, this could be the last check that families receive. According to NBC News, Senator Joe Manchin, has announced that he will not vote for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which would have extended the child tax credit payments to millions of families starting in July.
The Child Tax Credit
There are ripple effects from Sen. Joe Manchin’s reluctance to support President Biden’s expanded child tax credit program in West Virginia. In addition to increasing monthly payments for parents, the legislation passed earlier this year as part of the pandemic relief bill greatly expanded the scope of those eligible. Advocates in West Virginia, one of the most impoverished states in the country, say the impact was immediate, as per Associated Press.
Kelly Allen, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, has warned that if the payments are not made by January 15 or if the negotiations drag on too long, 50,000 children in the state will be pushed into poverty. West Virginia has one of the nation’s highest rates of CTC eligibility (93 percent of eligible children) with one in five of its children living in poverty.
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