The Second CTC Payment WV Families Have Been Denied - Tell Congress to Pass BBB!
Last week I joined other West Virginia moms in D.C. demanding our W.V. senators do right by our families by reinstating the monthly Child Tax Credit payments and other policies to support families like yours and mine by passing the Build Back Better Act. And like I said on the Capitol Steps, this still is true: The fact that people can sit in that building behind me and tell me that they don't know that my child's life is not worth helping.… is not the American way.
Families cannot afford to wait a minute longer. Tell our W.V. senators: The monthly Child Tax Credit payments must continue! We are counting on you to pass Build Back Better immediately to restore monthly payments to families, pass paid family and medical leave, and boost child care that helps children and families thrive!
Since last summer, families across the country have been breathing a sigh of relief each month when the Child Tax Credit (CTC) payment arrives, giving families up to $300/child each month.  However, February 15th marked the SECOND month that families were unable to receive their monthly CTC check!
The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on families and in communities across the country – child care providers continue to be on the frontlines as they care for children who still lack access to an approved COVID-19 vaccine and face historic staffing shortages as the pandemic wears on. This is happening at the same time that forced closures continue in child care settings, impacting parents' and families' health and ability to get to work. After all, we all know it can be next to impossible to be at work without access to child care – and also that child care providers need protection too. When you add the lack of paid leave to help ensure families can take care when sick and not lose critical income while isolating, it’s a MESS.
And just as families need to support the most, the monthly CTC payments ended in December because our U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and all Republican senators refused to pass Build Back Better, which would have extended it. The Senate has now taken two critical monthly payments out of the pockets of families, and it's more important than ever to pass the Build Back Better Act to extend the CTC, advance affordable child care and free pre-K, guarantee paid family and medical leave, make home-and community-based services for the elderly and those with disabilities more affordable, pay care workers living wages and create good care jobs, lower the cost of insulin and other prescription drugs, make healthcare more affordable, and more.
Building off President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a plan to extend the expanded CTC and ensure that low income families will ALWAYS have access to the benefit. It also includes key provisions like paid family and medical leave and affordable child care – all of which would be a lifeline to parents and families who are facing a particularly contagious variant of the COVID-19. BUT Senator Joe Manchin and Senate Republicans failed to act and locked families out of their monthly Child Tax Credit payments, and other critical policies that support families in good times and pandemic times like paid family and medical leave and affordable child care and elder care.
After just a single monthly CTC payment, the number of families who said that their household didn’t have enough to eat fell by 3.3 million or nearly one-third!  As my friend, and fellow West Virginian, Meghan put it last week, “93% of our kids in West Virginia qualified for the Child Tax Credit...you cannot tell me that 93% of the children in our state don't deserve to eat. don't deserve to have a warm home to live in. That’s unconscionable.” THIS IS NOT TIME TO TAKE OUR FOOT OFF THE GAS.
Because the Senate failed to act, all the great improvements to the Child Tax Credit are going away, sending millions of children and families back into poverty, disproportionately impacting families of color. In fact, if Build Back Better isn’t enacted, the Child Tax Credit would revert to providing the least help to the children who need it most — about 27 million children would once again get a partial credit or none at all because their families’ incomes are too low.  It’s clear: The CTC expansion needs to be restored and we need to enact pro-family and pro-business policies like paid family and medical leave and affordable child care to lower family costs and weather this pandemic.
*We need your help to speak out! Please use your voice and sign our letter calling on the U.S. Senate to get back to work and restore the expanded Child Tax Credit by immediately passing the Build Back Better Act. And while we are at it, let them hear loud and clear that children and families need investments in the full suite of programs that allow families to thrive: paid family and medical leave, child care, lower drug prices and healthcare, home- and community-based services, and a pathway to citizenship.
Families have been rising to demand the change we deserve and Congress needs to step up and do their jobs for families across the country. We won’t let Congress revoke the single largest reduction for child poverty – we demand they take action today!
Thank you for being a powerful voice for children and families!