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Joe Manchin’s Child Tax Credit Stand Draws Home Criticism – NBC 6 South Florida

Senator Joe Manchin’s reluctance to endorse the Biden administration’s expanded child tax credit program is pervasive across his home state of West Virginia.

Manchin, a moderate Democrat, was one of the last to delay the passage of President Joe Biden’s massive social and environmental package, known as the Rebuilding Better Act. The West Virginia senator has expressed concern about many aspects of the roughly $2 trillion package, including the continuation of the extended Child Tax Credit.

The expansion, passed earlier this year as part of pandemic relief legislation, has boosted monthly payments to parents and greatly expanded the reach of those who qualify. Advocates say that in West Virginia, one of the country’s poorest states, the effects are immediate.

“No state has been more impacted by the CTC,” said Kelly Allen, executive director of the West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy. “Honestly, West Virginia wasn’t doing well before the pandemic. So this is absolutely necessary now and in the long run.”

On December 15, CTC payments were routed to 181,000 families in West Virginia, according to Treasury Department figures. The average payout was $446 and reached 305,000 children. Those payments could end this month, if Biden’s bid is not approved within the next few days.

A coalition of groups in West Virginia has lobbied Manchin from the local beginning, emphasizing the underlying stories of families benefiting from the expansion.

“We are hearing that from every corner of the state,” said Jim McKay of TEAM for Children of West Virginia. “This program is really having a profoundly positive impact.”

Allen warned that 50,000 children in the state risk falling into poverty if the payments lapse, or negotiations drag on so long that the January 15 payment does not take place. By one estimate, one in five West Virginia children live in poverty and 93% of children in the state are eligible for CTC payments, the highest in the nation.

“Households across the state will have a hard time meeting their basic needs,” says Allen. “There’s a real urgency right now to make sure families don’t fall short.”

Facing unanimous Republican opposition, Biden is trying to pass the bid alone with Democrats, which the House has already done. But the road in the 50-50 Senate is more difficult, leaving no room for dissent. Biden has been negotiating with Manchin, who appears to be the last stumbling block for Democrats trying to pass the big bill by Christmas.

The dire state of the Biden-Manchin negotiations was described Wednesday by a person who spoke only on condition of anonymity. The person said Manchin is pushing for the removal of the bill’s extension of extended benefits under the child tax credit, a cornerstone of Democrats’ efforts to reduce child poverty.

Manchin told reporters on Wednesday that assertions he wants to get rid of the child tax credit improvements are “a lot of bad rumours.” When asked if he supported the removal of one of the bill’s child tax credit improvements – monthly checks sent to millions of families – he said, “I don’t negotiate with any of you.”

Last month, a group of West Virginians gathered outside Manchin’s office in the state capital Charleston, to hand the senator a blanket covered with personal testimonies from CTC recipients about payments being made. How math has improved their lives.

“It was a life changer,” said Rick Wilson of the Friends Service Committee at the protest. “

Studies show that extending the child tax credit is expected to cut child poverty by 40% – with 9 out of 10 US children benefiting. All told, about 4.1 million children are on track to be lifted above the poverty line, according to analysis from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

In West Virginia, recipients spent 52% of their CTC amount on food, with 39% going towards clothing and other essentials for their children, according to a study by the University of Washington at the Policy Institute. Society of St. Louis.

Allen, of the West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy, says CTC money doesn’t just benefit recipient families. With a few in a position to save money, the cash is instantly spent in the community. She estimates that more than $530 million in CTC funds has flowed into the West Virginia economy.

“When families have money in their pockets, they spend it on groceries, clothing stores and childcare centres,” she said. “Households know what they need and they spend in a way that most people think are responsible.”


Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Alan Fram contributed to this report.

Climate activists followed Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., into a building Friday, chanting, “we want to live.”

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/politics/joe-manchins-child-tax-credit-stance-draws-criticism-back-home/2643659/ Joe Manchin’s Child Tax Credit Stand Draws Home Criticism – NBC 6 South Florida

JOE HERNANDEZ

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