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Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has opposed the Child Tax Credit (CTC) extension, meant to give families up to $300 for children up to age 5; $250 for older children. The Washington Post has said Manchin would not support the extension because of the lack of requirements. However, adjusting the bill to fit in the requirements he wants would make those who need it ineligible. Most children in West Virginia are raised by grandparents who physically cannot work and rely on a small monthly income. The CTC would assist grandparents raising children with affording necessities they cannot afford due to being unable to work. In addition, the CTC would eliminate food insecurity among children.

The Washington Post has said the food insecurity rates in West Virginia dropped from 11.6% to 8.4% in July when the first CTC payment came. Children who face food insecurity are less likely to do well in school and are more susceptible to adverse childhood experiences. The CTC extension will ensure children are given a chance to obtain food insecurity and have a chance to excel in school.

The extension is an opportunity for children and a long-term investment. Providing children with opportunity means they are more likely to get a job and contribute to society positively. It’s a risky investment, but an investment, nonetheless. Compromises can be made about the CTC extension. Keep the CTC amount the same; reform the bill to make the threshold $45,000; have the CTC remain the same; and implement it into a debit card that can be audited to ensure the payment is being appropriately utilized.

The goal of welfare is not to stay on welfare but help you get back on your feet again. But for some parents and grandparents, the CTC extension is not just welfare to them; it’s livelihood and what they need to stay on their feet.

Aylin Turkoglu


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