Manchin decision could cost W.Va. families hundreds per month

Manchin decision could cost W.Va. families hundreds per month
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 5:31 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia families are set to lose hundreds of dollars per month starting in January after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., decided not to support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) legislation.

That bill includes the expansion of the current Child Tax Credit (CTC) that sends up to $300 per month per child to families across the country. The bill also included funding for paid family leave, help to rebuild former coal communities and other major social spending initiatives to complement the infrastructure bill that was passed earlier this year.

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The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy said the CTC has helped more than 346,000 children in the state. Those monthly payments are set to end in January if they are not renewed.

Center Executive Director Kelly Allen said the payments are helping many West Virginia families meet their basic needs right now. Under the BBB, low-income families would have also seen a large tax cut, while only the top five percent of earners would see an increase, according to an analysis.

“We are among the highest states in terms of the child poverty,” Allen said. “We are also among the states that will see the most benefit from the Child Tax Credit. Ninety-three percent of kids here qualify. So with it not being renewed, all kids will see a reduction in the value of the Child Tax Credit. They are not going to see the monthly payments anymore. Fifty thousand kids are going to see their kids slip back below the poverty line or into deep poverty, so this has real real impacts on child poverty in our state.”

A report from NBC News said that Manchin was concerned with the cost of the bill, and told his fellow lawmakers that parents in West Virginia would use the CTC to buy drugs instead of care for their children.

Allen said that could not be farther from the truth, with reports showing almost all the CTC money has been spent on basic needs like rent, clothing, utilities, medical costs and school supplies.

WSAZ reached out to the office of Sen. Manchin for an interview about his decision to not support the legislation and how it will impact West Virginia. A spokesperson said Manchin is not doing any interviews at this time as he waits for the situation to calm down over the holidays.

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