Expanded child tax credits end: What's next for families?

Congress unable to pass extension of benefits
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Posted at 12:59 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 18:15:23-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — January is the first month since July of last year that families will not be receiving an expanded child tax credit.

The payments were established when the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021.

For six months, extra money was distributed to about 39 million American households with children.

The expanded tax credit increased the maximum child tax credit in 2021 to $3,600 for children 5 or younger and to $3,000 per child between 6 and 17.

However, the last of those payments ended in December after Congress could not agree to extend those benefits for families.

WATCH: Finance expert Mark Parks discusses child tax credits

Facebook Q&A: Expanded child tax credits end

For now, the child tax credit for 2022 has fallen back to $2,000 per dependent under 17.

Going into 2021 with a newborn, Eugen Bold's family went from two incomes to one. If you throw in inflation and the rising costs to live, it's making life even tougher.

"We didn't know whether we were going to be able to do the absolute best for our newborn," Bold said.

Extra income from the child tax credit expansion last year became a lifeline for him and his family.

"This exact amount would go a long way because it could at least buy five or six boxes of diapers," Bold said. "It can buy a bunch of formula. It can cover a lot of the healthcare-related expenses."

According to a study from the Urban Institute, expanding the child tax credit until 2025 would pull nearly 300,000 children out of poverty in Florida.

Eugen Bold, talks about how child tax credits impacted his family, Jan. 18, 2022
Eugen Bold shares how the expanded tax credits were beneficial to his family.

The Biden administration continues to push for passage of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill, which would continue the enhanced child tax credits.

However, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said he would not support that component of the bill without the addition of a work requirement for parents, according to a CNBC report.

The bill has zero support from Republicans.

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Florida, released the following statement on child tax credits:

"This is purely politics. If the Democrats — who are in the majority and control every bill that comes to the floor for a vote — want to continue the Child Tax Credit, they can get that done in about an hour without attaching it to a multi-trillion liberal wish list that the majority of the country doesn't want."

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel speaks on child tax credit, Jan. 18, 2022
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel speaks about the possibility of Congress extending the child tax credits in 2022.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida, was asked about why Democrats are relying on the passage of the Build Back Better bill to extend the child tax credit.

"I would like to just rely on democracy, and it seems to me only common sense that everybody supports this in Congress, regardless of party affiliation," Frankel said.

Hanging in the balance are millions of families.