Expanded child tax credit is a lifeline for working families

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I consider myself an extremely lucky person. Every day, through my work as a patient care technician in a hospital here in St. Petersburg, I have the opportunity to help new and future mothers start their family life off on the right foot.

For most of us in this profession, we don’t do this job because it pays well, because it doesn’t, or because it’s glamorous, because it’s not the case. We do this work because the ability to help others while supporting our own families is too strong a call to ignore.

Kaderah Bryant [ Provided ]

However, many of us, and many of these new families we help, still struggle to pay the bills each month and ensure that our children have everything they need to grow up in a happy and healthy home. healthy. But these are not stories unique to our state. With the costs of things like housing and utilities continuing to skyrocket in Florida, it’s getting harder and harder to balance our budgets while having something to plan for for a future emergency or just a new backpack. back for our children.

That’s why I was so excited last year when I received my first payment of the expanded child tax credit that was passed as part of President Joe Biden’s US bailout. On the 15th of every month since last July, I had the security of knowing that our family would receive a much-needed boost to help pay for basic necessities like groceries or a trip to the doctor.

It’s not just my family that has benefited. Across Florida, families of 3.8 million children were able to count on a payment of up to $300 per month per child to help keep them ahead. Through this vital program, more than 272,000 children in our state have been lifted out of poverty in the last six months alone.

But when I checked my bank account on January 15, this payment was not showing up. It’s because Republicans like the senses. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are blocking the continuation of this life-changing program for working families across Florida. This is after they voted against expanding the child tax credit in the first place. They let politics prevent them from helping those who need it most, our children. It’s not just bad policy, it’s a callous disregard for their duty to help those they were elected to serve.

We must support the passage of the Build Back Better Act so that families like mine and those I serve can continue to benefit from the expanded child tax credit.

I know what this program has meant to my family and I know there are thousands of families like us who have been able to rest a little easier at night over the past six months without having to worry about whether all the bills will be paid. Please don’t take this lifeline away from us.

Kaderah Bryant is a patient care technician who works with mothers and babies at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg. She is a proud member of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare worker union in Florida, representing members in approximately 80 nursing homes and 30 hospitals across the state.

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