Ryan Supports Making Permanent Expanded Child Tax Credit

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said he wants to make permanent a new tax credit that will put up to $300 per month per child into the pockets of families.

The tax credit, approved as part of the American Rescue Plan, the tax credit, which runs through the end of the year, expands the Child Tax Credit to $3,600 per child for children up to age 5 and to $3,000 per child for children between the ages of 6 and 17.

Beginning July 15 through the end of 2021, qualifying families will receive monthly payments of $300 per child for the lower age group and $250 per child for the older children unless they opt out online, permitting them to claim the credit when they file their 2021 tax return next year. Those qualifying are single parents earning up to $75,000, couples filing jointly earning up to $150,000 and people filing as heads of household.

“Let’s be clear: This is a straight, middle-class, working-class tax cut,” Ryan, D-13 Ohio, said during a news conference Monday afternoon at the Youngstown Business Incubator. “We’re trying like hell to make this permanent.”

The expanded tax credit will apply to 92% of families with children in the state of Ohio, Ryan said. It will lift 140,000 Ohio children out of poverty, including 10,300 children in the 13th district.

Ryan was joined at the press event Monday – one of several that took place nationwide to promote the tax credit – by Sheila Triplett, chief executive director of Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership.

“This is going to impact working families, the families that we see every day at MYCAP,” Triplett said. “It’s going to be a significant benefit for those families who are trying to restart.”

Contrary to the perception that her agency only serves low-income individuals and families, MYCAP also sees people of moderate income, many of whom suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic and came to the nonprofit for rental and mortgage assistance, she said.

“My hope is that this becomes a permanent benefit, in that it will continue to provide the help and assistance for these families, to help them gain some sustainability,” Triplett said.

Ryan disputed concerns that the tax credit, which is being paid out in monthly installments to recipients, would serve as a disincentive for people to return to their jobs or find other work. The tax credit could be used to help them pay for child care that they need to return to work

“This is actually going to encourage people to go back into the workforce,” he said.

During a virtual roundtable Monday morning, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, also expressed support for extending the tax cut beyond the end of the year.

“We know the wages of hardworking families have been stagnant for decades. This credit will finally give them a chance to keep up with the cost of living,” Brown said. “Now we continue the fight to make this expansion permanent, because families’ expenses aren’t going away.”

Asked whether making the expanded tax credit permanent had any Republican support, Ryan responded that no Republicans in either house of Congress voted in favor of the legislation that created the temporary credit, although several are holding press conferences to take credit for provisions in the legislation.

Emmalee Cioffi, spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said the senator was “open to bipartisan discussions regarding ways to support working families” and emphasized his support for children and families.

“That was made clear with his tireless efforts to help to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which doubled the child tax credit,” she said.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, was more skeptical about the need for such a program.

“There is no question that the COVID pandemic has caused the United States to spend more we did not have, for things we did not anticipate.  But the spending by the federal government over the last year and a half is not sustainable,” he said in a statement.

“We went through a once-a-generation pandemic, but that is coming to an end,” Johnson continued. “Very shortly, Congress will have to vote to raise the national debt ceiling — again — just to be able to borrow more money from China and others for more spending. The best way to kick-start the economy is to get people back on the job, not through more and more ever-expanding big government programs.”

Pictured: U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, and Sheila Triplett, chief executive director, Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.