Sen. Michael Bennet speaks as a presidential candidate during The Iowa Democratic Party Liberty & Justice Celebration on Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
The federal government on Thursday began sending out the first monthly payments to American families under the newly expanded child tax credit program, and the rollout is being celebrated by Colorado Democrats, including Sen. Michael Bennet, who helped lead a push by members of Congress to include the measure in a COVID-19 stimulus package passed earlier this year.
“I’ve been fighting for years to make sure that more Colorado families can receive the child tax credit, and I am thrilled that President Biden’s American Rescue Plan has made the benefit available to 39 million families across this country this year,” Bennet said in a video message Thursday. “This is the most significant investment Washington has made in kids and families in generations.”
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Bennet will hold events with parents, children and local advocates to promote the expanded CTC benefits in Aurora and Denver on Friday, his office said. Meanwhile, Gov. Jared Polis issued a proclamation declaring July 15 Child Tax Credit Day in Colorado, saying in a statement that the expansion will “play a critical role in powering Colorado’s comeback.”
Under the expanded CTC program, benefits have been increased from $2,000 to $3,000 per child, with an additional $600 for each child under the age of six, and half of the benefit will now be distributed to families through monthly payments, rather than through an annual tax deduction.
More than 580,000 households in Colorado will begin receiving checks this month, according to state-by-state estimates released by the White House on Thursday.
Bennet and other Democrats have touted projections that the expanded CTC could cut child poverty in half, though some advocates and community groups have fretted about the program’s design, worrying that some of the country’s poorest children, many of whom live in families that don’t typically file income taxes, won’t receive the benefits due to a lack of awareness or accessibility.
The expanded program is currently only authorized for one year, but the Biden administration and Democrats and Congress have called for the expansion to be made permanent. An extension of the program is included in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package agreed to by Senate Democrats this week, according to Axios.
“I’m doing everything I can to make this change permanent so that you and your family can receive the child tax credit this year and every year to come,” said Bennet.
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