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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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Go deeper

Exclusive: Quartz, NYT vets launch new media company about work

Photo credit: Emma Howells for Charter

Quartz co-founders Kevin Delaney and Jay Lauf, along with New York Times veteran Erin Grau, are launching a new media and services company called "Charter" that is centered around the future of work, the founders told Axios.

Why it matters: "There are other media companies that write about this topic — some occasionally and some more frequently, but it's one topic among many things that they do," Delaney said. "This is a driving focus for us."

Biden endorses bill to end sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration endorsed a bill Tuesday that would end sentencing disparities for crack versus powder cocaine offenses.

The big picture: Supporting the legislation follows through on one of Biden's campaign promises. But it's a shift from decades ago, when Biden spearheaded efforts to pass the legislation that implemented the disparities in the first place.

White House to acknowledge U.S. will miss July 4 vaccination goal

Fireworks in New York City to celebrate the state reaching a 70% vaccination rate. Photo: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to acknowledge on Tuesday it will likely miss its goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4, NBC News first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Despite falling short of the goal, the White House still believes most Americans will be safe to fully celebrate Independence Day, as COVID-19 cases and deaths remain at low levels throughout much of the country.