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- Reps. Omar, Tlaib, and Garcia reintroduced a bill to give parents $393 a month per kid for 18 years.
- The bill’s sponsors estimate it could cut child poverty by 64%.
- It would replace the pandemic-era expanded child tax credit, which expired in December 2021.
A group of Democrats wants every parent to start receiving monthly checks for their kids.
On Thursday, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Chuy Garcia reintroduced the End Child Poverty Act, which would create a universal benefit giving families $393 a month per child until the child turns 18. According to the press release, the program would be universal and would not have any income thresholds, and children would be automatically enrolled at birth to receive payments from the Social Security Administration.
It’s a more generous version of the expanded child tax credit that was part of President Joe Biden’s pandemic-era stimulus law, which expired in December 2021 after giving an annualized payment of $3,000 per kid age 6 to 17 and $3,600 for each child age 5 and under. Due to opposition from Republicans and centrist Democrat Joe Manchin, the program was not renewed, and the three Democrats’ latest bill is intended to replace that benefit.
“In the midst of a devastating pandemic, President Biden and Democrats in Congress took dramatic action to help families in my district stay afloat—expanding lifechanging benefits like Medicaid and SNAP, and expanding the child tax credit to finally benefit the most vulnerable among us. This action alone cut child poverty nearly in half,” Omar said in a statement. “It is a tragedy that we let the child tax credit expansion expire.”
“The End Child Poverty Act would cut childhood poverty by nearly two-thirds,” she added. “It is exactly the type of bold action our party should be championing to finally address child poverty in this country and make sure families aren’t going hungry in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.”
According to the fact sheet, $393 a month — or around $4,700 a year — per child could cut child poverty by 64% and deep child poverty by 70%, per estimates from the People’s Policy Project.
With Republicans holding a majority in the House, it’s unlikely this legislation will pass, but the bill’s sponsors maintain it is necessary to ensure families can afford to keep feeding their children following the lapse of the more generous child tax credit.
“The expanded Child Tax Credit lifted 2.9 million children out of poverty and cut child poverty in nearly half, but now that it has expired, too many families are struggling to make ends meet,” Tlaib said in a statement. “In the richest country in the history of the world, no family should have to choose between keeping a roof over their head and putting food on the table to feed their children.”