Millions of families go without Child Tax Credit support in January

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Friday marks the first time in half a year that millions of families across the country won’t get additional financial support from the federal government.

The enhanced Child Tax Credit ended in December after Congress paused negotiations over the Build Back Better Act.

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The legislation would have extended payments into 2022.

The White House credits this program for keeping millions of kids out of poverty during the pandemic.

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Now some nonprofits are worried the end of these child tax credits will put families in jeopardy.

“Congress’s failure to do so in moving to extend it is moving millions of kids back into poverty,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus on Children.

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There was a total of six monthly payments last year, which gave families additional financial support.

A recent Census Bureau Survey shows families who received the credit used it for school expenses, child care needs and paying off debt.

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In the Build Back Better Act, there were plans to extend the credit for at least one more year, but the legislation is currently on hold.

Some Republicans say extending the program without requiring parents to work to qualify for it would lead to less productivity.

A recent report from Republican members of the Joint Economic Committee states it may lead many low-income families to work less.

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Bruce Lesley with First Focus on Children, a bipartisan advocacy group for kids, believes the end of this program, plus high inflation, will dramatically impact families.

“The Senate in action is raising taxes on families…$1000 to $3,600 per child. That is going to have enormous consequences,” said Lesley. “You know, you think about a family of, you know, a family of four with two kids, that that’s, that’s devastating for them.”

Some lawmakers say that if the Child Tax Credit program continues, it should be its own separate legislation — and should be budgeted accordingly.

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