By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
A year ago, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan. Under the plan, the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit underwent changes which expanded the amount of money parents and workers earned back.
Earlier this week, Gene Sperling, alongside Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nevada) spoke about the impact these changes had on local and state municipalities.
The White House estimated that under these changes nearly 40 million families (about 65 million children) and over 17 million workers on a national level will be impacted.
Sperling is the White House American Rescue Plan coordinator and senior advisor to the president.
“We’re using this day to send out the message that millions and millions of families are eligible for this dramatically expanded child and dependent care tax credit,” he said.
According to the state-by-state analysis released by the White House, an estimated 651,000 Wisconsin families or 1,127,000 children are expected to benefit from the Child Tax Credit. And about 320,000 workers will benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Under the American Rescue Plan, families will receive $3,000 per child between the ages of 6 to 17 and $3,600 for children under 6. Workers without dependent children may receive up to $1,500, furthermore workers ages 19 to 24 and 65 and older are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Booker praised Biden’s work to rally the nation and produce the American Rescue Plan Act.
“Our recovery has been deeply affected by the policies in the American Rescue Plan,” he said. “I am proud the bill included transformational policies that helped America’s families, workers and children.”
He said that families have reached out to his office to share what the Child Tax Credit has done for them. Their hard-earned tax dollars were returned to them, he said.
“Those were resources toward working families that made a difference,” he said. “And it accounted for the greatest cut in child poverty in the history of America. We saw about 3.7 million children get lifted out of poverty.”
Booker continued, “That to me, is not just a policy achievement, it is a moral achievement, because child poverty is a moral obscenity.”
Horsford represents the fourth congressional district in Nevada, which includes Las Vegas.
“The child tax credit was by far the most important and transformative action congressional Democrats delivered through the American Rescue Plan,” he said. “It essentially got money into the pockets of families that really needed it.”
During his remarks, Horsford noted that his constituents appreciated the Child Tax Credit benefits, specifically the advanced child tax credit payments. Anna Marie Binder, one of his constituents and his virtual guest to the State of the Union, and her children benefitted from the Child Tax Credit.
Horsford explained that two of Binder’s children have special needs and one has severe health issues. The Child Tax Credit helped her stay afloat, he said, adding that she used it to pay rent and other bills.
“We delivered for the American people,” Horsford said. “We chose to use our federal tax code to help average Americans – not the wealthy and the well-connected, not big corporations, not those who can find loopholes in the tax code – but average Americans, particularly with children.”
It helps parents pay for child care and health care and other costs that go toward raising children, Horsford said.
Horsford noted that the next step is advocating for the passage of the Child Tax Credit extension.
“The Child Tax Credit is a key provision to address longstanding racial disparities in child poverty,” he said. “The expansion of the Child Tax Credit for 2022 is expected to narrow the poverty rate gap between Black and white children by 44% and the gap between Latino and white children by 41%.”
The opportunity to reduce child poverty is there, he said, adding that he intends to urge Congressional leadership to pass the expansion.
Horsford continued, “This is what we do, when we’re in charge: We deliver for the American people.”
The leaders on the call urged Americans to visit childtaxcredit.gov to file their taxes and check their eligibility for the Child Tax Credit.