Dr. Jill Biden joined Rep. Cindy Axne for events in Des Moines on Wednesday to promote the third child tax credit payments being delivered today.
President Joe Biden’s expanded child tax credit includes higher payments for every child parents have. For families with children 6-17, parents get $3,000 per child. For every child under 6, they get $3,600.
That works out to $300 a month for children under 6 and $250 a month for children 6-17.
The credit is part of the American Rescue Plan passed in March, and parents began receiving advanced payments in July rather than having to wait for tax filing time next year.
The average benefit for Iowa households is $459 a month, according to Axne’s office, and more than 343,000 households are receiving the benefits. Over 80% of Iowa’s children will see benefits from the child tax credit.
Parents across Iowa have listed all kinds of uses for the child tax credit, and one of their biggest concerns, child care, is also addressed by the Biden administration.
A key part of the Build Back Better agenda is to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care.
Axne said she hears constituents talk about the need for child care nearly every time she meets them. From those stories, and her own experience, Axne said child care is so closely tied to parents’ ability to work that it can’t be considered anything other than infrastructure.
“If a parent has to skip a shift because they don’t have child care they need, that support is called infrastructure,” she said. “When a company can’t find someone to hire because they don’t have child care in town, that’s an infrastructure issue.”
Jill Biden echoed Axne’s words about how often she hears parents across America raise it as an issue. She also reminded the audience of the sacrifices and struggles of working families during the pandemic, especially now that many are returning to the workplace while their children aren’t going back to school.
And that’s not the only improvement suggested for helping American families. The Build Back Better agenda also includes free, universal preschool and two years of free community college.
“Investing in working families is the best way that we are going to recover from this pandemic,” Biden said. “We’ve known for years that this is the best way to strengthen our economy and make it more resilient for whatever challenges we face.”
Biden said the free community college part is close to her heart because of the way community colleges can change people’s lives by introducing them to more opportunities for building their futures.
Both Biden and Axne called for Congress to keep working to help Americans.
“In the coming weeks, I’ll be of course continuing to work with my colleagues to make sure this bill includes two critical priorities, not just for me, not just for the Third District, not just for Iowa, but for this entire country and that’s child care and expansion of the child tax credit,” Axne said. “I will fight for those tooth and nail to make sure that we get those here.”
by Nikoel Hytrek