Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-W.Va.), has expressed his reluctance to extend the child tax credit for one year, a key part of President Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill. The senator has been a key obstructionist in gutting the president’s agenda that was previously $3.5 trillion

On Dec. 15, the child tax credit went out to 181,000 families in his home state of West Virginia, giving an average of $446 to support 305,000 children. Biden expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 and $3,600 per child under the age of 6.

“There is no state that’s more impacted by the CTC,” said Kelly Allen, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. “West Virginia, frankly, wasn’t doing great before the pandemic. So this is absolutely needed now and in the long term.”

Allen warns that 50,000 children are at risk of slipping into poverty if the payments lapse or the Jan. 15 checks are not sent out. Jim McCay of TEAM for West Virginia children has said the CTC has had a “profound impact” in every corner of the state.

Studies show that the CTC cut child poverty by 40% with 9 out of 10 American children benefiting, according to the Associated Press. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D- Ill., said he was “stunned” to learn Manchin opposed extending such a beneficial part of Biden’s agenda.

“That is such a critical element — the largest tax cut for working Americans in the history of the United States. We were so proud of what we accomplished there and for this to come up as an issue toward the end was stunning,” Durbin said.

Several religious leaders with the West Virginia Council of Churches met with Manchin in his Washington office in November to discuss the benefits the provision brings to the families in their congregations. Rev. Jeffery Allen believes Manchin will support the child tax credit at the end of the day “I think in the end, he knows West Virginia, he knows the people, and he knows the need,” he said.

Manchin has recently told reporters he wanted to extend the child tax credit for a decade so its true cost is reflected in the score presented by the Congressional Budget Office. Such a move alone would cost $1.5 trillion when Manchin has already been reluctant to support the $1.75 trillion package. This would force Democrats to cut more provisions from the bill and leave just $250 to $350 billion for other priorities such as expanding Medicare, combating climate change, and universal pre-K.

The odds of Biden’s agenda passing before Christmas look bleak and it remains unclear if Manchin will vote for the final bill. Democrats will need all 50 Senate votes in order for the legislation to pass.