MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — Over the weekend Joe Manchin brought all of Washington to a screeching halt.
West Virginia’s U.S. Senator said he will not support the Biden administration’s key legislative package, which includes the federal child tax credit program. Manchin says some households that would receive the credit could manage without it, but West Virginia is more dependent on the program than any other state.
West Virginia has average monthly payments of $446 to 181,000 families; that includes more than 300,000 children. Social service advocates say 50,000 children in the Mountain State are in danger of slipping into poverty if the payments are stopped.
“The child tax credit? Do you believe people making $200,000 and $400,0000 should still get the child tax credit?” Manchin asked when interviewed Monday on West Virginia Radio’s Talkline program. “Compared to someone making 50, 60 or 70 who really needs it?”
“Since the tax credits have started we have noticed that people are getting back on their feet faster. It gets them out of the shelter. It gets them housing,” Teresa Shumate of Community Networks in Martinsburg, a social services agency, said.
Unless Congress steps in at the start of the new year those payments will stop on Jan. 15. More than nine in 10 West Virginia children are eligible for the credit and about 20% of West Virginia children are in households considered to be below the poverty line.