Thanks to Democrats, families of over 3.5 million children across Florida got a monthly tax cut last year that helped them make ends meet and afford essentials like gas, groceries, and housing amid the rising cost of living. The expanded child tax credit in the American Rescue Plan helped lift hundreds of thousands of Florida children out of poverty, yet Marco Rubio and Rick Scott voted against it and pledged to oppose renewing it this year.
Kaderah Bryant, a health care worker at a hospital in St. Petersburg who works with new mothers and infants, recently wrote an op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times slamming Rubio and Scott for their “heartless dereliction of their duty” in opposing the CTC expansion and highlighting how it has helped her family.
With the costs of things like housing and utilities continuing to skyrocket in Florida, it is getting more and more difficult to balance our budgets while having anything left over to plan for a future emergency or just a new backpack for our kids.
That’s why I was so excited last year when I received my first payment from the expanded Child Tax Credit that was passed as part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan. On the 15th of every month since last July, I’ve had the security of knowing that our family would be receiving a much needed boost to help us pay for basic necessities like groceries or a trip to the doctor’s office.
It hasn’t just been my family that’s benefitted. All across Florida, the families of 3.8 million children have been able to count on a payment of up to $300 per month per child to help them stay ahead. Due to this vital program, over 272,000 children in our state have been lifted out of poverty in just the last six months.
But when I checked my bank account on Jan. 15, that payment wasn’t showing up. That’s because Republicans like Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are blocking the continuation of this life-changing program for working families across Florida. This is after they voted against the expanded Child Tax Credit in the first place. They’re letting politics stand in the way of helping those who need it most, our children. It’s not only bad policy, it’s a heartless dereliction of their duty to help those they were elected to serve.
We need to support the passage of the Build Back Better Act so that families like mine and those I serve can continue to benefit from the expanded Child Tax Credit. I know what this program has meant to my family and I know there are thousands of families just like us who have been able to rest a little easier at night these last six months without the burden of worrying about whether all the bills will be paid. Please don’t take this lifeline away from us.