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CTC protest

Cara Baldari and Sarah Orrin-Vipond join a rally in front of the U.S. Capitol December 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C. to urge passage of the Build Back Better Act to extend the expanded Child Tax Credit. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

78% of Democrats Support Child Tax Credit Effectively Killed Off by Manchin: Poll

Survey shows that majority of all U.S. voters across the political spectrum support extending the expanded program that has lifted millions out of poverty.

Julia Conley

Three weeks after Sen. Joe Manchin's opposition to the expanded Child Tax Credit ended his Democratic Party's hopes of passing the Build Back Better Act before the end of 2021, a new poll out Wednesday shows a majority of voters still support the measure that has lifted millions out of poverty.

A survey by Fighting Chance for Families, a project of progressive think tanks Groundwork Collaborative and Data for Progress, showed Thursday that 57% of all voters—and 78% of Democrats—support expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

"Extending the child tax credit would really help Americans during a pandemic and Omicron surge. Maybe Manchin can tour his own state and see the economic devastation."

Just over half of independent voters support the expanded CTC, which from July to December 2021 provided monthly payments of up to $300 per child for 35 million families, and about one-third of Republicans back the program.

The widespread support for the CTC, suggested Fighting Chance for Families, is due to the fact that millions of children have experienced concrete benefits from what one advocate called "the most transformational investment in children and families in the history of the United States."

"The expanded Child Tax Credit provided economic relief to some 35 million families and gave working parents the security needed to remain in the workforce and keep local economies afloat," said McKenzie Wilson, spokeswoman for the organization. "The Senate must listen to voters and work swiftly to extend the now-expired expanded Child Tax Credit, especially at a time when coronavirus cases and the price of essential goods are at record highs."

Manchin, the corporate Democrat who represents West Virginia, announced in mid-December that he would not support the one-year expansion of the CTC included in the Build Back Better Act, effectively shutting down negotiations over President Joe Biden's signature economic package.

After talks over Build Back Better fell apart, the Democrats had until December 28 to pass standalone legislation extending the CTC or attach the provisions to an unrelated bill to prevent families from facing a gap in payments in January.

Since the party failed to meet that deadline, tens of millions of families received their last payment on December 15.

The CTC has been credited with helping families across the country afford rent and mortgage payments, school supplies, utilities and other essentials. While Manchin reportedly told colleagues he believed families would use the money to buy drugs, the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis showed that the most common use for the monthly payments was to buy food, with more than half of the senator's own constituents reporting they mainly used the CTC to purchases groceries.

"Extending the child tax credit would really help Americans during a pandemic and Omicron surge," said New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali this week. "Maybe Manchin can tour his own state and see the economic devastation."

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