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OFF-KILTER with Rebecca Vallas

Sep 17, 2021

This week, millions of families across the United States are receiving their third monthly child allowance payment as implementation of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act earlier this year continues.

Meanwhile, as “Build Back Better” legislation continues to come together in Congress, with key House committees marking up their portions of the legislation this week, the future of America’s first guaranteed minimum income for families with children—a policy estimated to cut child poverty in half in the United States—is at the heart of the ongoing debate.

While not the permanent extension community advocates are calling for, the version of the bill currently moving through the House would extend the life of America’s first-ever child allowance by four years to give the expanded CTC time to take root—while making at least one key feature permanent: the credit’s so-called “full refundability” (read: full availability for the lowest-income families).

So, for this week’s Off-Kilter, Rebecca sat down with two dear friends and colleagues who have been leading the way on the fight to extend the child allowance beyond its first year—while also working to ensure the program’s full implementation: Indi Dutta Gupta, co-executive director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, and Dorian Warren, co-president of Community Change and one of the co-chairs of the Economic Security Project.

But first: Rebecca talks with Representative Rosa DeLauro—the Connecticut Congresswoman who’s spent the past nearly two decades in Congress leading the crusade for what she calls a “Social Security for children”—for a look at how we got here and why she set out to expand the CTC all the way back in 2003, long before the CTC became cool.