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Biden's child tax credit is withdrawn, causing anger and concern

Philadelphia Inquirer

January 9, 2022

Federal payments that kept millions of families out of poverty have expired without Congress allowing them to continue, plunging people in need back into a state of indigence they believed they’d never have to endure again.

The Biden administration’s one-year expansion of the child tax credit (CTC) starting last July was meant to help families navigate the pandemic with cash infusions of as much as $3,000 a year per child ages 6 to 17, and $3,600 a year per child from newborn to age 5.

The expanded CTC has especially helped the poorest Americans. To get the credit before the expansion, households had to earn at least $2,500 annually, omitting those who didn’t make that much. Under Biden’s plan, however, the CTC became fully available to all those in poverty, regardless of income.

But now, as the omicron variant proliferates exponentially, that lifeline has been snatched back, allowing those in poverty to languish without a means of survival they’d grown to depend on, advocates and low-income people say.

Congress’ failure to expand the CTC beyond 2021 rankles experts on poverty and inequality.

“Allowing the expanded child tax credit to expire is yet another demonstration of the U.S. government’s intentional neglect of families with children, a clear example of legislative violence,” said Mariana Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health.

Chilton espouses universal basic income, a proposed government program in which every adult citizen receives a set amount of money regularly.

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