GHENT, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia took the national stage Sunday, December 19, 2021 following an announcement from Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and the future of the Build Back Better Bill.
“I can not vote to continue with this piece of legislation, I just can’t,” Manchin said on Fox News Sunday Morning.
The controversial decision by Manchin puts several programs in jeopardy, particularly in Manchin’s home state. Manchin cited the cost of the bill, rising inflation and the spread of the Omicron variant across the country as reasons he could not support the bill in a statement, adding:
“I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation.”
The Executive Director for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy said the Child Tax Credit is instrumental in bringing working families with children out of poverty.
“Most families have been getting $250-300 checks per child since July that are helping to cover the cost of things like rent, mortgage and groceries and those things are going to stop in January if this legislation is not passed,” Kelly Allen said.
Allen said 346,000 children in West Virginia benefit from the Child Tax Credit. She also said other programs included in the Build Back Better Bill, like guaranteed paid family leave for up to four weeks would also help working families in the Mountain State. She is urging Manchin to revisit negotiations and pass some version of the Build Back Better act where these programs are expanded.
“It’s really important that something get done and that Senator Manchin come back to the negotiating table and find a way through this, this has real, immediate impacts for West Virginians,” Allen said.
The future of the bill is in limbo as Senator Manchin, Congress and the White House figure out how to move forward.
The final Child Tax Credit payment went out to families December 15, 2021. If the current version of the Build Back Better plan is passed by Congress, those advance payments will be extended into 2022.