Progressive groups launch effort to cement expanded child tax credit


A pair of progressive think tanks on Tuesday launched a new initiative to push policymakers to permanently extend  the child tax credit expansion that President Biden enacted earlier this year.

The effort from Data for Progress and Groundwork Collaborative, called Fighting Chance for Families, will focus on highlighting how the expanded credit benefits families, communities small businesses.

“We’re going to be making the case that a permanent expansion is not only smart economic policy that helps families pay for basic needs like food, rent, and bills along with childcare and college savings, but also that it’s an overwhelmingly popular policy that the American people are demanding that Congress extend,” McKenzie Wilson, spokeswoman for the new initiative, said in a statement.

The coronavirus relief law Biden signed in March expands the child tax credit for several ways for 2021. It increases the credit amount, makes the credit fully available for the lowest income families, and directs the IRS to make advance payments of the credit. The IRS says it will start monthly advance payments of the credit on July 15.

Democrats are seeking to pass a social spending package later this year that would extend the expansion of the child tax credit. Many Democratic lawmakers want to make the expanded credit permanent, but Biden has proposed extending the increased credit amount through 2025.

A key challenge to making the expansion permanent is the cost, but supporters of a permanent expansion argue that the benefits of doing so would be immense.

Groundwork Collaborative Executive Director Lindsay Owens said that when the monthly payments of the child tax credit start next month, “we will see economic benefits that actually trickle up, down, and all around to the benefit of children, communities, and the overall economy.”

McClatchy first reported on the new initiative.

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