President Biden Doubles Down in Calling on Congress to Renew the Expanded CTC

By Tiffany E. Browne

With the passage of the Build Back Better bill hanging in the balance, President Biden urged Congress to renew the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) during his State of the Union address. While framing his call to action around building America’s economy through further investment, education, and job growth, within the address President Biden outlined specific components of the plan that are aimed at reducing child poverty and putting money back into the pockets of working families. The House Chamber erupted into a roaring applause as President Biden called for an increase to the minimum wage, universal Pre-K for 3 to 4 year-olds, passing paid leave, cutting child care costs and extending the CTC “so no one has to raise a family in poverty.”

Families who benefited from the temporary expansion of the CTC are beginning to feel the financial burden from its expiration at the end of 2021 after Senate leaders were unable to reach a deal before the end of the year. In a recent report, the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University shared that the monthly child poverty rate increased by 17 percent from December 2021 to January 2022. The report reveals that Black and Latino children experienced the largest percentage-point increase at 5.9 and 7.1 respectively. Additionally, the report notes how the expanded CTC benefit kept 3.7 million families from poverty while reducing child poverty by 30 percent.

In December, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) warned of the potential of 65 million children slipping into poverty without the renewal of the expanded CTC. Families across the nation have shared their stories of the financial challenges they have faced since the benefit has expired; including a group of West Virginia moms who traveled from Senator Joe Manchin’s home state to the Hill urging Congressional leaders to allow the expanded CTC benefit to continue.

As a negotiation factor, Sen. Manchin proposed a work requirement with the renewal of the CTC as he expressed concerns that the expanded CTC would discourage families from working and cause a negative effect in the workforce. However, studies have debunked the Senate leader’s concerns, citing there is no correlation between the CTC and employment outcomes. As of now, there is no word if the Senate will consider the CTC component. Until a decision is made, taxpayers will see the benefit revert to its original amount of $2,000 to be paid out as a tax return next tax season.