A vote to express local support for a federal child tax credit expansion bill, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, was scheduled Tuesday at Cortez City Council, but the vote was tabled after Councilwoman Jill Carlson said she wanted more time to read the bill.
A lawyer by trade, Carlson said she prefers to read the full text of a bill instead of a fact sheet produced by the bill’s sponsors. Bennet introduced S.690, the American Family Act, on March 6 and posted the text of the bill on his website. As of Wednesday morning, according to Congress.gov, the full text of the bill had not yet been received.
“I need to read the actual language in the law,” Carlson said.
Thirty-six Democratic senators and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, have signed on as co-sponsors. According to S.690, families with children would receive child tax credits through monthly payments instead of once a year during tax season.
The American Family Act would amend the Internal Revenue Code to create a new Young Child Tax Credit of $300 per month for children under age 6 for a total credit of $3,600 per year, an increase of the current $2,000 per year.
It would also expand the existing Child Tax Credit for children between age 6 and 17. Those families would receive $250 per month for an annual credit of $3,000, up from the current $2,000 per year.
“Children are the future of this nation, and those who grow up impoverished begin at a substantial disadvantage that for many becomes a lifelong liability,” Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek wrote in a draft letter of support that City Council has not yet been approved.
According to a March 5 report from the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy, the American Family Act’s proposed reforms to the Child Tax Credit would move 4 million children out of poverty and “cut deep poverty among children in half.”