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Child Tax Credit

How many Child Tax Credit payments were there?

The popular social spending move, implemented from July to December won't be continuing into 2022 unless President Biden can convince his Dems to support it.

Last week, the president announced that efforts were underway to revive the environmental component of his $1.8 trillion social spending plan, after it was all but killed in the Senate.
Brendan SmialowskiAFP

The Child Tax Credit, widely hailed as a significant measure in reducing childhood poverty, is awaiting its final rollout with the filing of this year's tax returns. Once recipients of the credit have done so, they will receive the final lump sum of up to $1,800 per child, providing one last boost to finances before the scheme draws to a close.

While millions of children benefitted from the expanded scheme, Congress has effectively killed its extension. If the president wants it to happen, he will need to pull out all the stops, or risk putting huge economic pressure on families, as well as likely losing the November midterm elections.

So exactly how many payments were sent?

The first payment sent out in July reached a staggering 59.3 million children, around 88 percent of the nation's entire children. This number only grew, reaching 61 million children by the date of the final monthly payment on December 15.

“Since July, monthly payments of the Child Tax Credit have helped millions of families pay for essentials such as food, childcare, and other household needs as those expenses arise,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen.

“The lives of tens of millions of children across the country have improved because families have received tax relief when they need it most,” she continued.

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What is the latest situation with the credit?

While the credit has been an extremely successful initiative, the plan to continue it to 2025 was reduced to 2022, then blocked entirely. Senator Joe Manchin says it costs too much, so he won't vote for it.

However, another group of Democrat Senators have written to President Biden, urging him to get the Child Tax Credit passed this year.

"The consequences of failing to extend the CTC expansion are dire, particularly as families face another wave of the covid-19 pandemic... Raising taxes on working families is the last thing we should do during a pandemic," says the letter.

The end of the credit has had an immediate negative effect on child poverty in the US. According to research by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, child poverty will rise from 12 percent to 17 percent by the end of January, the highest percentage since December 2020. That a nation will let huge poverty rates like this exist despite spending so much on weapons should force lawmakers into a reconsideration.