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This hasn't gotten enough attention:

Today, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion plan to support families, reopen schools, accelerate vaccine distribution, and get America back on track.

There's so much important stuff in there, but I want to point your attention to one specific part of the plan that is truly historic.

The American Rescue Plan will, for the first time, send monthly checks to families of 9.9 million children living in poverty — lifting 4.1 million children above the poverty line and 1.1 million children above the "deep poverty" line (half of the poverty level.)

Here's how we did it:

First, we increased the per-child tax credit to $3600 per young child up to age 6 and $3000 per child up to age 17.

Second, we made those tax credits 100% refundable. After all, if parents make too little to pay income taxes, a non-refundable tax credit isn't any good to them.

Third, those refundable tax credits can now be advanced to parents on a monthly basis.

Think of that: A single mother of a toddler living in poverty would get a $300 monthly check to help make ends meet. It's not a lot, but it will make a critical difference to many families — ensuring healthier nutrition for kids, or helping with child care, or filling the wage gap when a sick child needs care at home.

This is a huge deal! It's the federal government finally taking a step towards acting on the idea that in the wealthiest nation in the world, no child should live in poverty.

It's a one-year program in the midst of a pandemic, but I'm committed to fighting hard to make it permanent.

We can and we must end child poverty in America.



Posted on March 11, 2021.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Jeff Merkley has never lost touch with his working class roots.

As a U.S. Senator, he works every day to create opportunity for working families, stop the corruption of our democracy, and tackle the climate crisis.

A workhorse and a progressive champion, Jeff Merkley is leading a movement to get our country back on track.

Meet Jeff

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