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End of increased child tax credit puts nearly 4 million kids in poverty

As the enhanced child tax credit expires, nearly 4 million children will fall into poverty.

Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Senator,

Due to the expiration of the increased child tax credit at the end of last year, nearly 4 million American children plunged into poverty in the month of January. Child poverty rose by 41 percent between December and January, according to new data from Columbia University, as millions of families stopped getting the additional $300 per month. Latino and Black children saw the biggest percentage-point increases in poverty, according to a Columbia University press release.

Democratic lawmakers enacted a pandemic relief measure in March that included an enhanced child tax credit, which resulted in payments of up to $250 per child ages 6 through 17 and up to $300 per child under 6. After Republican senators and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia blocked a renewal of the programme, the last of those payments were sent out in December. According to a poll conducted in November by Yahoo News and YouGov, 49% of American adults support extending the credit by another year, while 31% are opposed.

Columbia University and the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities conducted studies last year that showed the enlarged tax credit reduced poverty among children by at least 40%. There were 61 million children in 36 million homes that missed out on their December benefits because of the extension’s failure to pass.

A credit extension was supported by Vice President Biden but needed Senate approval from all 50 Democrats or at least ten Republicans who did not vote for the American Rescue Plan in March 2021 which included the enhanced credits.

Manchin, in contrast to nearly all of his Democratic colleagues, opposed a continuance of the plan in its original form, pushing for work requirements and a lower income cap on families eligible to receive it. Analysis conducted last autumn indicated that the proposed modifications made by Manchin would have resulted in the loss of assistance for approximately 190,000 West Virginian children and 37 million throughout the nation.