Mar 15, 2021 - Politics
Child tax credit expansion is Michael Bennet's big stimulus win
Photo: Tom Brenner/Pool/Getty Images

Much of the credit for the expansion of the federal child tax credit, one of the most significant items in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, belongs to Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D).

Why it matters: The policy, which Bennet has championed since 2017, is considered revolutionary for how it creates a guaranteed income for families, a so-called Social Security for kids that is common in other wealthy countries.

  • Parents will receive monthly checks of $300 for children 5 and younger and $250 for those older.
  • It is projected to cut child poverty by 45%, according to one study.

The backdrop: Bennet credits his tenure as Denver public schools superintendent for driving home the need.

  • "We spend lots of money and effort trying to remediate the problems created by childhood poverty instead of seeking to eliminate it," he said.
  • He took the policy to the national stage by making it the top agenda item in his long-shot presidential bid in 2020.
  • "It makes a lot of lonely time in a lot of empty rooms in Iowa and New Hampshire seem kind of worth it," he added with laughter.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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