- Sanders indirectly jabbed at Manchin for siding with the GOP to oppose checks to families.
- “50 Republicans and 1 corporate Democrat allowed the $300 a month Child Tax Credit to expire,” Sanders tweeted.
- AOC also assailed the conservative Democrat for “nuking” the child allowance.
Senator Bernie Sanders said on Twitter that ending monthly checks to families was “morally obscene,” after new research illustrated just how many children fell into poverty as payments dried up.
In December, families across the country stopped receiving up to $300 monthly child tax credit checks per kid — money that had been a “godsend” for some parents receiving them. The IRS said that over 36 million families received about $16 billion in the last batch of payments on December 15.
Sanders cited a new analysis from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia, which found that 3.7 million kids slid back into poverty with the credit’s expiration. Child poverty rose to 17% in January compared to 12% in December, a 41% increase that brought it in line with late 2020 levels. The researchers found that Latino and Black children saw the largest rises in poverty.
—Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 18, 2022
“How did this happen? 50 Republicans and 1 corporate Democrat allowed the $300 a month Child Tax Credit to expire. That is morally obscene,” Sanders wrote. Sanders’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why the credit ended.
Despite calls to keep the checks going, Democrats were unable to win over a holdout in their own ranks: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. A one-year extension was included in the now-stalled Build Back Better plan, which the conservative Democrat declared dead earlier this year.
Manchin has said he wants only working parents to receive the tax credit, making the poorest parents inligible. He’s been skeptical of sending direct payments without conditions and privately raised concerns about parents spending the cash aid on drugs.
His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Stormy Johnson, a single mother from Manchin’s home state of West Virginia, previously told Insider’s Erin Snodgrass that she was “heartbroken” over losing the payments.
“Without these payments, I won’t eat so my kids can,” she said.
Sanders isn’t the only progressive to take aim at fellow Democrats over the credit’s expiration. On Thursday night, Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York assailed Manchin without naming him.
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 18, 2022
“One US Senator ‘heard stories’ about people allegedly using the Child Tax Credit ‘for drugs’ without any evidence or data to back it up,” she wrote on Twitter. “He then used that as justification to nuke the entire national programme, causing millions of kids to fall into poverty in weeks. Horrifying.”