Senate

Civil rights groups urge Schumer to pass House-approved social spending bill

A coalition of civil rights groups is urging Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to pass the House-approved social spending and climate bill as it stands, without tacking on amendments that would weaken the child tax credit.

The groups, including the NAACP and National Urban League, penned a letter to Schumer on Monday encouraging the Senate to approve the Build Back Better Act “without amendments that would weaken provisions key to the racial equity impact of the Child Tax Credit”

“Now that the House has passed the Build Back Better Act, including a robust Child Tax Credit, it is time for the Senate to take this up,” the groups wrote in the letter obtained by Politico.

“The expanded monthly Child Tax Credit must be extended before the end of the year to give families the certainty that the payments will keep coming,” they added.

The House-approved version of the bill includes $200 billion for child tax credits and would expand the program for one year. Started during the pandemic, the child tax credit gives parents $300 a month per child under the age of 6, and $250 a month for each child ages 6 to 17.

The legislation also allows families that do not make enough money to qualify for income tax liability to continue receiving child tax credits even after the one-year period ends, according to Time.

The House passed the roughly $2 trillion bill on Nov. 19 along party lines. It now heads to the Senate, where changes will likely be made due to internal party disagreements.

Only a majority vote is needed for passage since the caucus is considering the bill through budget reconciliation to avoid a potential Republican filibuster. In the 50-50 Senate, however, that means all Democrats must remain banded together for the legislation to pass,

The groups told Schumer that if the Build Back Better Act does not pass the Senate by the end of the year, “we risk throwing millions of children back into poverty in 2022.”

“Passing the Build Back Better Act provides a historic opportunity to reduce childhood poverty and continued support to the most vulnerable children, particularly in Black and Latino families,” they added.

Schumer last month said his “goal” is for the Senate to approve the Build Back Better before Christmas.

Signatories of the letter included Color of Change, Community Change Action, Economic Security Project Action, The Leadership Conference, NAACP, National Urban League and UnidosUS.

The Hill reached out to Schumer for comment.

Tags Build Back Better Charles Schumer Child tax credit civil rights groups Senate spending bill

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