TRANSCRIPT: Majority Leader Schumer Remarks At Press Conference On The First Day Of Child Tax Credit Payments Thanks To The American Rescue Plan: Democrats Are The Party Of Tax Cuts For The Middle Class

July 15, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today delivered remarks at a press conference with Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) on the Child Tax Credit payments secured by the Democrats in the American Rescue Plan that began going out today to American families. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Good afternoon to you all. And I'm proud to be joined by many of my colleagues. This great legislation, which has had so many people be involved but was really led by Michael Bennett and Sherrod Brown, and Ron Wyden and Cory Booker and Raphael Warnock and [Debbie] Stabenow has gotten the message out. I have become a great devotee of it, so we have everybody here, and of course our Finance Chairman will work on it as we go forward in our budget resolution instructions. So thank you for being here.

To quote our dear friend, former senator, and current President Joe Biden: “This is a big f-ing deal.” One of the biggest f-ing deals that's been passed, decades and decades. Today's the day that we say to the parents of America: Help is on the way.

Today the child tax credit payments, which Democrats secured as part of the American Rescue Plan, will begin going out to American families across the country. Tens of millions of families are going to see extra money hit their bank accounts because of this program.

Over the past 20 years, child care has become ludicrously expensive. Caring for a child is about equal to these days to the  cost of buying a new car every single year. Poor families struggled to keep their kids out of poverty; middle class families struggled to stay in the middle class; because of the costs covered raising the child is so expensive. On top of that, everything from diapers to housing to health care to college tuition has risen in price while wages were flat. The Roosevelt Institute has put out a study which I'm going to send to all my colleagues. For the bottom 70% of America, earning power was flat from 2000 to 2020. Earning powers flat, things go up. My daughter buys diapers for my grandson. I'm amazed at the price compared to when we used to buy diapers for her. Just incredible – one little thing. And of course then with the pandemic, life got even harder for families that are just trying to give their children the best opportunities.

So this Child Tax Credit is a double-successful hit, for the middle class and for the poor. For the middle class, to help people stay in the middle class. For the: close to half the children in poverty will get out of poverty. When a child is born into poverty, through no fault of her or his own, they often don't get fed properly, educated properly, get proper health care, proper housing. And by the time they're 14, 15, 16 years old, they are in a deep ditch. Now, some of them, to their credit, climbed out of that ditch, but many don't. This will prevent many more from getting stuck in that ditch. So it helps the middle class and helps the poor. Both. A vast majority of parents will receive that monthly check of $300 for each child under 6 and $250 for each child between 6 and 17.

We are sending taxpayer dollars right back to American parents. This will amount to a substantial and potentially life altering tax cut for American families. It is one of the largest tax cuts average American families have gotten in a while.

Four million kids, as I said, will be lifted out of poverty. I've met with families in New York. You know, when you're a poor person, and you're worried about having enough money to pay the rent so your kids won't be kicked out of their house or having enough money to buy food so they can have some meat? This is a godsend – it’s a godsend.

Republicans have claimed to be the party of tax cuts, but in reality, they're only the party of tax cuts for the wealthy and well connected. This tax cut, which comes in the form of a check to so many American families, every Republican voted no. They all voted yes when you cut taxes on the top 1%. They all voted no when you cut taxes on the middle class and the poor.

We, the Democrats, are the party of tax cuts for the middle class. And I'm proud that the Senate majority is making it clear that we're fighting to give American kids and American families, a much stronger brighter future.