The U.S. Treasury said late Wednesday that about $15 billion was paid out to families in the first monthly payments of the Child Tax Credit, which was expanded under the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief package.
The July payments were made to the families of nearly 60 million children, with 86 percent receiving payments via direct deposit, according to the Treasury Department. Those who opted out of direct deposit will receive their checks in the mail.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, American working families are receiving monthly tax relief payments to help pay for essentials like doctor’s visits, school supplies, and groceries,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. “This major middle-class tax relief and step in reducing child poverty is a remarkable economic victory for America – and also a moral one.”
Democratic lawmakers and administration officials are pushing to extend the Child Tax Credit.
President Biden and Vice President Harris are expected to call for an extension of the credit through 2025 during remarks at the White House Thursday.
The increased monthly Child Tax Credit payments would likely be part of the $3.5 trillion budget resolution that Democrats are seeking to pass through the so-called reconciliation process. That would allow them to pass the legislation despite Republican opposition in the evenly-split Senate.
Republicans have proposed their own monthly payments for children, but are not expected to support the Democrats’ version in the reconciliation package.
The COVID-19 relief package expanded the Child Tax Credit to $3,600 per child younger than six and $3,000 per child ages six to 17. Households with children six years old and younger will receive $300 per child each month, while families with children six to 17 will receive $250 for each of the next six months.