Florida advocates are hopeful that as Congress negotiates an omnibus bill that would continue corporate tax breaks, it will also extend and make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent.
The credit lifted 3.7 million children out of poverty before it expired last year. Groups have since been asking for the program to be reinstated and no longer be temporary when it has been so successful at fighting poverty.
Alyssa Delgado, community prosperity manager for the group Catalyst Miami, which provides health and financial coaching, said her data shows it is time for a field goal to keep the tax credit.
"A large majority of our clients that are eligible for the CTC chose to receive it early," Delgado pointed out. "As a result, they've been able to make better financial decisions, better planning. They've been able to kind of follow through with certain things or debts that they had to repay."
The program expired after Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., criticized the tax credit, claiming it is a "new welfare program," paying people not to work. Others countered the tax credit provides a lifeline to families in need and should be considered, especially if corporations will be able to get tax breaks.
Government funding is set to expire on December 16th without a continuing resolution to continue existing budgets and programs into the new year.
Democrats in Washington hope to counter Republican demands for corporate research and development tax credits by insisting the expanded Child Tax Credit also be included.
Delgado argued just as corporations look to offset rising costs. The same things are happening to families.
"You now have an increase in stable income essentially, right?" Delgado observed. "This increase in stable income is going to help offset some of these rising costs and the expenses that are just coming up as a result of living in the state that we do."
The expanded tax credit was part of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, which was designed to ease the blow from the pandemic's economic woes. It provided families who qualified for tax credits worth up to $300 per child per month.
Delgado emphasized it ultimately helped pull millions of children out of poverty, and she calls on lawmakers to continue the trend.