Millions of families this weekend will stop receiving monthly child tax payments for the first time in months after Congress failed to pass an extension of the expanded credit.
As lawmakers struggle to revive talks to renew the expansion, more than 30 million families that have been receiving the monthly payments since July will not see another round on Saturday.
Democrats temporarily expanded the child tax credit in early 2021 as part of a sweeping coronavirus relief package enacted under President Biden.
Under the expansion, Democrats removed work requirements for the credit, raised the maximum credit amount and allowed those eligible to access half of the credit amount through monthly payments.
Many Democrats and advocates have called for the expanded credit to be made permanent, touting it as significant contributor to reducing child poverty by allowing those in the lowest-income households to access the full amount, as well as a means to help provide relief to middle-income families.
“You’re seeing folks spending it on like bills, food, school supplies, some for savings, and some for paying off debt, and I think this sort of speaks to the real value of this kind of economic relief, especially in the middle of a pandemic,” Ahmad Ali, press secretary for progressive pollster Data for Progress, told The Hill. “It’s about making things a little bit easier to raise a family to stay afloat in the middle of all this.”
Democratic leadership aimed to pass the extension as part of a larger social and climate spending plan known as the Build Back Better Act, a cornerstone of Biden’s economic agenda.