Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Today is the LAST DAY of this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

TODAY is the last day to meet our goal -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year.

Children draw on a "cancelled check" prop at a rally for the child tax credit

Children draw on top of a 'cancelled check' prop during a rally in front of the U.S. Capitol December 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

19 Facts About the Poverty-Busting Expanded Child Tax Credit

The collection of figures follows Sen. Joe Manchin's proposal to means-test the now-expired CTC.

Sue Sturgis

 by Facing South

Date when the expanded child tax credit, which Congress approved last year as part of the American Rescue Plan pandemic stimulus, expired because the closely divided U.S. Senate failed to renew it as part of the Build Back Better Act: 12/31/2021

Because of the expanded child tax credit, amount in monthly payments per child that eligible families had been receiving since last July without having to take any action: $250 to $300

Number of families that received the payments: more than 36 million

This past December alone, number of children the expanded child tax credit lifted out of poverty: 3.7 million

Percent of those children who were white, Latino, and Black, respectively: 38, 38, 20

If the Senate had not allowed the expanded child tax credit to expire, percent by which the policy was projected to reduce child poverty in the U.S.: more than 40

With no expanded child tax credit payments made in January, percentage points by which the monthly child poverty rate is expected to increase nationwide: 5

Rank of the South among U.S. regions with the highest child poverty rates: 1

Date on which Axios reported that Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat involved in negotiations to revive the credit, was open to scaling back eligibility to win support from Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a millionaire corporate Democrat who joined Republicans to block the policy's extension: 2/1/2022

Previous income limit for the full expanded tax credit payment for couples and for single-parent families, respectively: $150,000 and $112,500

Income level that Manchin told West Virginia MetroNews he wants to prioritize while also imposing a work requirement for parents: $75,000 or less

Percent of West Virginia parents who oppose work requirements for the expanded credit, according to a poll conducted last year: 75

Number of times Manchin has demanded work requirements before approving tax cuts for the wealthy or called for means testing of defense contractors before approving military spending bills, as Shailly Barnes of the Poor People's Campaign noted at a Feb. 3 press conference in Charleston, West Virginia: 0

Rank of West Virginia among states with the highest percentage of children living in poverty as of 2019: 7

Number of West Virginia children living in poverty as of 2019: 69,975

Percent of West Virginia children who benefited from the expanded child tax credit: 93

Of those children, portion who had been unable to benefit from the credit under the pre-expansion rules because their parents were too poor to pay taxes: about 1/2

Date on which Poor People's Campaign leaders published an editorial in which they decried Manchin's position on the expanded child tax credit and said that, given his months of broken promises, they lack faith he'd support a bill even with the compromises he's demanding: 2/3/2022

Date on which the Poor People's Campaign is holding a Moral March on Washington to call on leaders to address poverty: 6/18/2022

(Click on figure to go to source.)


© 2021 Institute for Southern Studies
Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis is the Director and regular contributor to the Institute for Southern Study's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. She is a former staff writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Independent Weekly in Durham, North Carolina. Sue is the author or co-author of five Institute reports, including Faith in the Gulf (Aug/Sept 2008), Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (January 2008) and Blueprint for Gulf Renewal (Aug/Sept 2007). Sue holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University.

TODAY is the last day of our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Texas Supreme Court Allows Century-Old Abortion Ban to Take Effect

"Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences."

Jake Johnson ·


'What's There to Even Discuss?' Omar Says Free, Universal School Meals Should Be Permanent

"We have an opportunity to prove that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people can still deliver big things. And we can feed tens of millions of hungry kids while we do it."

Jake Johnson ·


'Stark Betrayal': Biden Administration Floats New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

"This is the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday," said one climate advocate. "They're ashamed, and they should be."

Jake Johnson ·


As US Rolls Back Reproductive Rights, Sierra Leone Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

"I'm hopeful today's announcement gives activists in the U.S., and especially Black women given the shared history, a restored faith that change is possible and progress can be made."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Indefensible': Outrage as New Reporting Shines Light on Biden Deal With McConnell

The president has reportedly agreed to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime judgeship. In exchange, McConnell has vowed to stop blocking two Biden picks for term-limited U.S. attorney posts.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo