In the News

The New Republic: Democrats Are Picking a New Fight Over the Expanded Child Tax Credit

Grace Segers, The New Republic

For Melissa Lester, a mother of two from Columbus, Ohio, the rising cost of childcare is a nearly insurmountable obstacle. Lester, a social worker and member of the advocacy group MomsRising, told the Senate Finance Committee in a hearing on Wednesday that her family paid more on childcare than on their mortgage, with the annual cost amounting to more than one year of tuition at Ohio State University.

Lester had been invited by Democrats on the committee to speak at the hearing on anti-poverty tax programs, specifically the effects the expanded child tax credit had on her life. “The Child Tax Credit expansion was a glimmer of hope,” Lester testified in her opening statement. “It made moms like me feel like maybe, just maybe, it’s possible for things to get better.”

That policy was briefly implemented in 2021 under the American Rescue Plan Act, Democrats’ nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package. The expanded credit reached more than 36 million households across the country, and resulted in a dramatic, if temporary, decrease in child poverty and food insecurity. Lester, a social worker, testified that it had provided her family with financial breathing room, and helped her save money ahead of the birth of her second daughter, because much of her maternity leave was unpaid. But the program expired at the end of 2021, due to congressional inaction.

Click here to read the full article on The New Republic.