Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believe the Biden Child Tax Credit is a transformative way to directly help Black and Brown families in South Los Angeles during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Before an Aug. 12 press event, Waters and Pelosi toured the Ethel Bradley Early Education Center on South Central Avenue in Watts.
Waters and Pelosi spent nearly an hour highlighting the importance of the child tax credit in South LA.
“It has meant a lot to our family. It was a great surprise and it came right on time,” said Raven Hinshaw, who has two young children that attend the Bradley Education Center. “It’s allowed us to sign them up for different enrichment / sports programs.”
Meanwhile, Ana Gonzalez said receiving at least $250 a month per child is already making a big difference in her life because of the rising cost of living in LA.
“The jobs don’t pay enough, rent is going up every time,” Gonzalez said.
“This Child Tax Credit presents such a relief to our families,” said LAUSD Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly. She added that 81 percent of the district’s families will receive monthly payments.
Waters said the tax credit’s central goal is to end child poverty. “This is different because it is responding to the pandemic,” Waters said. “This response is about making sure children have food on the table. A roof over their heads.”
Meanwhile, Waters and Pelosi want to make the child tax credit permanent.
“We need to make it permanent… but we think the cost is worth it because of what it means to families,” Pelosi shared.
Ultimately, Pelosi said the child tax credit is rooted in equity for people of color.
“We call it social security for children,” Pelosi added.
Pelosi said Waters is a trailblazer, as she carries a lot of weight in the nation’s capital as the first African-American Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services.
The child tax credit is a major part of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Pelosi said future legislation will include funding for childcare, paid family medical leave for new parents and home health care for children in need.
“It’s a pretty exciting time… we must build the human infrastructure, it’s about building families,” Pelosi said, who listed a child’s education, and their health and economic security as her top legislative priorities.
The impact of the child tax credit will directly impact South Los Angeles, Waters’ office said.
Over 88 percent of children in Waters’ district will receive the child tax credit, amounting to approximately 162,000 children.
The average benefit from 47,600 households is $3,100 between now and the end of the year, which would specifically lift 18,300 children in CA-43 out of poverty, officials said.
Meanwhile, families with multiple children under the age of six will receive $4,300 on average.
Waters said the money will help families meet various basic needs like the rising costs of food, childcare, diapers, healthcare and clothing.
“This is a stimulus to the economy,” Pelosi continued, saying that about 90 percent of children will receive the tax credit.
Pelosi said this initiative is about the future and America’s responsibility to children.
“We want children to reach their potential,” Pelosi continued.
Both Waters and Pelosi admit the plan does cost money but agreed that showing how this directly impacts children will be the most persuasive argument to making this permanent.
Pelosi said future federal budgets should be a statement of the nation’s values. She went on to tell Our Weekly that no Republicans voted in support of the current child tax credit, which has already been passed into law.
However, she hopes in the future, support from citizens who are benefiting from the money will change the hearts and minds of federal lawmakers.
“I think when people understand what is at stake, we will prevail,” Pelosi shared. “Children are the highest priority to us.”
Low-income, working and middle class families will all receive the same monthly payments: $250 per month per child between the ages of 6 and 17, and $300 per month for every young child under the age of 6.
Monthly payments began on July 15 and will continue through the end of the year.
Single filers making below $75,000, head of household filers making below $112,500, and married joint filers making below $150,000 are eligible for the full amount.
If a couple makes less than $24,800, a head of household makes less than $18,650, or a single filer makes less than $12,400, and they have not filed their taxes, there is a simple, easy tool to sign up for the Child Tax Credit at ChildTaxCredit.gov. Officials said all applicants will need is a reliable mailing address, an e-mail address, Social Security numbers for children, and Social Security Numbers (or ITIN) for the household head and spouse. By providing bank account information, households can receive your payment safely and securely by direct deposit.