A delegation from the Global Women’s Strike (GWS), Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike (WOC/GWS) and Payday men’s network joined the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (PPC:NCMR) in doing mass non-violent civil disobedience in the US capital on December 13 Moral Monday to press for passage in 2021 of the Build Back Better Act, and in particular for the continuation of the extended  Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Our grassroots network of mothers, grandmothers, aunties and other caregivers have been working tirelessly to ensure that the CTC is extended, made permanent, is fully refundable*, paid to immigrant families and that checks are paid to the mother or primary caregiver. It is outrageous that Senator Manchin, himself a grandparent, though a wealthy one, is threatening to cut off the CTC for at least 46 million families across the country, disproportionately families of color and rural families. In so doing, he is throwing our children under the bus, particularly those in West Virginia and other parts of the country who are most vulnerable. Manchin denies that caring for children and families is vital to all of us. Whoever they are, hungry children are everybody’s business.

If the Build Back Better Bill—currently before the Senate—is not passed by the end of the year, the expanded Child Tax Credit will expire and millions of children will yet again slip into poverty. A Census Bureau survey found that the expanded Child Tax Credit has helped families with children to buy more food and pay for household expenses. In fact, 9 out of 10 families with low incomes have used the Child Tax Credit to pay for necessities and for education. According to the Poor People’s Campaign, 140 million in the US are poor or of low wealth.

As national partners, we join the PPC:NCMR in demanding that Congress also act to protect voting rights, raise the minimum wage to at least $15, end the filibuster, pass protections for all immigrants, and stop destruction of the Apache holy site Oak Flat.

At 12:00 noon on December 13th, the Poor People’s Campaign and their partners met at Union Square in front of the Reflecting Pool to begin a march to the Capitol. The message is simple: “Get It Done in 2021.” The Campaign wants to see the passage of both the Build Back Better Bill, with the expanded Child Tax Credit, and voting rights protections before the end of the year. Members of GWS, WOC/GWS, and Payday men’s network travelled from the San Francisco Bay Area and Philadelphia PA to take part. Hundreds participated from at least 33 states around the country, and 71 people were arrested in mass nonviolent civil disobedience, including three from our groups.

The following day, Senator Michael Bennet said, “It’s hard work just to raise a child,” urging his colleagues to pass Build Back Better with the fully-refundable, extended Child Tax Credit.

“I feel so strongly that the Child Tax Credit expansion becomes permanent that I’m traveling across the country during the pandemic to make my views known to Congress. If I had had those credits when I was a young mother, I would not have done things I was forced to do because I had no money for my son and me to survive,” said Rachel West.  

Here is what other caregivers from our network have to say about the impact of the Child Tax Credits: Mother of five from Altoona, PA who was also interviewed by Katy Tur on MSNBC on Wednesday, Dec 15  • Single mother from CaliforniaGrandmother from Philadelphia, PAImmigrant single mother from Philadelphia, PA

Contact us if you would like to interview families who can talk about how the Child Tax Credit has changed their lives.

Find out more about the Global Women’s Strike and Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike: https://globalwomenstrike.net

Watch video of the Moral Monday March on Washington: https://fb.watch/9VaCdnS6i4/

Global Women’s Strike and Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike are national and international networks of grassroots women which have been campaigning for decades for recognition and payment for all caring work, in the home and outside. Care Income Now! coordinates their work in the US on the Child Tax Credit. 

Read and/or sign onto the Care Income Now! letter to Congress and the President. Contact us at: careincomenow@globalwomenstrike.net

* “Fully refundable” means children qualify for the CTC regardless of the income or lack of income of their parents, so children from families with the lowest incomes are not excluded as they are with earlier child tax credits. Also that receiving the CTC will not affect qualifying for other federal benefits.