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Hairdresser Chelsea Woody stands outside her car at a grocery store in Charleston, W.Va. / PHOTO: Associated Press ( Headline USA ) For the first time in half a year, families on Friday are going without a monthly deposit from the child tax credit —a program that was intended to be part of President Joe Biden’s legacy but has emerged instead as a flash point over who is worthy of government support.
Retiree Andy Roberts, from St. Albans, West Virginia, relied on the checks to help raise his two young grandchildren, whom he and his wife adopted because the birth parents are recovering from drug addiction.
The Robertses are now out $550 a month. That money helped pay for Girl Scouts, ballet and acting lessons and kids’ shoes, which Roberts noted are more expensive than adult shoes. The tax credit, he said, was a “godsend.”
“It’ll make you tighten up your belt, if you’ve got anything to tighten,” Roberts said about losing the payments.
The monthly tax credits were part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package—and the president had proposed extending them for another full year as part of a separate measure focused on economic and social programs.
But Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin , from Roberts’ home state of West Virginia, objected to extending the credit out of concern that the money would discourage people from working and that any additional federal spending would fuel inflation that has already climbed to a nearly 40-year high.
According to IRS data , 305,000 West Virginia children benefited from the expanded credit last month.
Manchin’s opposition in the evenly split Senate derailed Biden’s social spending package and caused the expanded tax credits that were going out in the middle of every month to expire in January. This is whittling down family incomes at the precise moment when […]
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