Nashville, TN

Tennessee Pastors, Parents Call for Extended Child Tax Credit

Advocate Andy

Activists Call on Senators Hagerty, Blackburn to Take Action

As a result of the U.S. Senate failing to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better plan before the end of December, the Child Tax Credit payments that were a part of the American Rescue Plan ended in 2021. This means the extra cash will not be deposited in bank accounts unless there is legislative action. Now, a group of Tennesseans affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition is calling on Senators Hagerty and Blackburn to take action.

Rev. Dr. Kevin Riggs, Pastor of Franklin Community Church, said:

“Making sure the expanded child tax credit continues in 2022 would move us closer to the core Christian value and belief that every human is made in God’s image and deserves to live a safe and healthy life. As both a Christian and a pastor, I believe in equity and justice for all, and by investing in all children across this state and the nation, we would move closer to that reality.”

“We saw in 2021 that the expanded Child Tax Credit led to the biggest cut in child poverty in decades, and lifted 3 million children out of poverty in July of 2021 alone, which is indeed something to celebrate,” said Rev. Dr. Donna Whitney, Pastoral Assistant at the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville. “We need these child tax credits in order to help children across the country currently living in poverty. In Tennessee specifically, ensuring that the child tax credit continues could lift 150,000 children out of poverty.”

Stay-at-home mom and small business owner Kat Fittin noted her family depends on the Child Tax Credit.

“Without the child tax credit I’m not sure how we will be able to make ends meet, so I am pleading with our elected leaders to pass the Build Back Better Act so we can get on our feet, and so that I can return to work. I desperately want to return to my career in software training and support, but I cannot physically do that without childcare.”

Whitney added she believes there is a Biblical imperative for passing the plan:

“I so often return to Jesus’ call to us in Matthew 25” ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ This child tax credit helps us, as a country, come together to care for the most vulnerable among us, our children.”

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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