“Much at stake” for West Virginia families in Biden’s spending plans


September 28, 2021

By Nadia Ramlagan
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers are slated to vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday, and are working towards a deal on President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan.

Amy Jo Hutchison, West Virginia anti-poverty advocate for Rattle the Windows and Fellow at Community Change, said Biden’s push to address issues such as health care and child care leaves much at stake for West Virginians. She pointed out many families are currently using the expanded child tax credit to cover the cost of child care.

“It costs more for one child to do private paid childcare here in West Virginia than it does for a year’s tuition at West Virginia University or Marshall University,” Hutchison noted. “So those costs are just staggering.”

Earlier this year, families began receiving roughly $15 billion dollars nationwide in increased monthly Child Tax Credit payments through Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Eligible families received a payment of up to $300 per month for each child younger than age six, and up to $250 per month for each child ages six to seventeen. Extending the credit is included in Biden’s American Families Plan.

Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs, pointed to research from West Virginia University’s School of Law, showing the administration’s infrastructure plan could boost employment in the state equivalent to more than 3,000 full-time jobs through 2040, and expand internet access.

“Across the nation, the Build Back Better agenda can create 4 million jobs,” Weinstein stated. “It can create many, many jobs in West Virginia. It will also help people earn more in their jobs, and that helps their income.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., have repeatedly voiced concerns about the costs of the spending packages.