More than 30 million families are at risk of losing their child tax credit benefits this weekend after Congrees failed to pass an extension of the safety net program that benefited children during the pandemic. 

The Biden administration initially expanded the credit in 2021 after removing the work requirement and saw the CTC reach $93 billion to 36 million families over a span of six month. The CTC gave a $300 tax credit for every child 5-years-old or younger and a $250 tax credit for every child between the ages of 6 and 17.

One-third of the families receiving the benefits used it to cover school expenses, while 25% of people used it for childcare, and 40% used the tax credits to pay off debt. 

 

 

 

 

“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

Congressional Democrats aimed at passing an expansion of the child tax credit in the Build Back Better bill but the plans were dashed when Sen. Joe Manchin, D- W. Va., dealt a death blow by announcing he was a “no” vote in December despite 305,000 West Virginia children benefiting from the CTC. 

The child tax credit has reduced child poverty by 25% and benefited 3 million children, according to Columbia University, disproportionately helping Black and Hispanic children. The Urban Institute reported expanding the child tax credit would cut child poverty by 40%. 

 

 

“​​It's about cutting the deep poverty rate, and those are the folks who, because they don't have any earnings, or have very limited earnings, basically did not benefit much at all from the child tax credit before it became fully refundable,” said Stephen Nuñez, who heads guaranteed income policy research for the Jain Family Institute. 

Families received half of the monthly benefits with the other half coming once their taxes are filed. The size of the credits will be cut in 2022 with full benefits going to families who earned enough money to owe taxes.