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WV Organizers to Manchin: Child Tax Credit Must Stay in BBB

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Thursday, December 16, 2021   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the deadline to pass the Build Back Better Act looms, West Virginia organizers are collecting stories from families in the Mountain State about why extending the Child Tax Credit through the legislation is critical.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is one of the major critics of the bill due to concerns over increased spending and inflation. Organizers say Manchin told them in a meeting he is not hearing directly from West Virginians about how the Child Tax Credit has helped them.

JoAnna Vance, West Virginia recovery fellow for the American Friends Service Committee of West Virginia, said she has gathered more than 150 stories showing how the credit has helped residents pay for groceries and utility bills.

"Some people that I talked to, I'm so happy for them," Vance remarked. "They got to move out to of their parents' house with their kids because of the Child Tax Credit. They got a car. But then if the Child Tax Credit isn't extended, then how are they going to pay for their house? How are they going to pay for their car?"

Parents have received up to $300 monthly per child since July through the Child Tax Credit, depending on income and family size. The IRS has informed lawmakers the trillion-dollar social safety net legislation must be passed by Dec. 28 for payments to go uninterrupted in January.

The Child Tax Credit has the potential to benefit 346,000 West Virginia children, with 50,000 of whom would be lifted above or closer to the federal poverty line, according to research from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

Ash Orr, federal campaign advocacy organizer for the Center, said the legislation is Manchin's chance to protect families.

"We have coalitions, we have individuals, we have families calling, emailing, every single day expressing how they are benefiting from the CTC and why they need the CTC in place," Orr pointed out. "These are his constituents that are expressing these very valid concerns."

One in five West Virginia children faces poverty, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Disclosure: American Friends Service Committee of West Virginia contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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