ICYMI: Op-Ed from Senator Murray Highlights Direct Aid for Washington State Families in American Rescue Plan

Senator Murray penned an op-ed this week in the South Seattle Emerald highlighting how the expanded Child Tax Credit provision in the American Rescue Plan will provide direct relief to families

Senator Murray: “As one of the senators who helped write the American Rescue Plan, I made sure Washington State families were heard and that they will get direct, targeted relief”

Senator Murray: “The Child Tax Credit alone will cut child poverty for Black families by more than 50% and Native families by more than 60%”


(Washington, D.C.) – This week, the South Seattle Emerald published an op-ed from U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) on the importance of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) and other provisions for Washington state families in the recently passed American Rescue Plan. As the Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Murray was one of the Senators who helped write the COVID relief package. Senator Murray also highlighted in the piece how the expanded CTC will specifically help families of color in Washington state.

“In Washington State…struggling families with children will see help in the form of up to $300 a month more in your pocket,” Senator Murray wrote. “The Child Tax Credit alone will cut child poverty for Black families by more than 50% and Native families by more than 60%. While only about half of Black and Latino children were eligible to receive the Child Tax Credit before the American Rescue Plan, now the vast majority will receive this vital assistance. The expansion of the Child Tax Credit, along with the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit in the bill, is projected to boost the income of eight million Black households, including approximately 54,000 Black households in Washington State.”

In addition to the CTC, Senator Murray also discussed how other provisions in the American Rescue Plan, such as the $1,400 direct payments, would help to put money in families’ pockets.

“Here’s an example of what the American Rescue Plan will mean for a Seattle family of four, with parents making $75,000 combined and with young children, ages 5 and 8: because of the American Rescue Plan, this family will get $5,600 in direct payments, $1,400 for each parent and child. And because of the expanded Child Tax Credit, they’ll also receive another $6,600, a portion of which will be advanced later this year, meaning families won’t have to wait until tax time next year to see that relief. That’s $12,200 more in the pockets of this young family to help them manage this crisis.”

Senator Murray also committed to continue fighting for Washington state families to not just get them back to where they were before the pandemic, but to ensure a brighter future after the pandemic.  

“I want you to know I firmly believe that we won’t recover as a country from this crisis until all of us recover — and I will continue working at the federal level to make sure everyone in Washington State gets the relief and resources they need, so that as a country, we can come back from this crisis more inclusive, equitable, and stronger than ever.”

Under the American Rescue Plan, the Child Tax Credit is enhanced in the following ways for 2021:

  • The maximum credit is increased from $2,000 to $3,000, with an additional $600 for each child under the age of six, and extends the full credit to 17 year old children.
    • The increased amount phases out at $150,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, $112,500 for heads of households, and $75,000 for individual filers.
  • The CTC is fully refundable for 2021.  As a result, if the maximum CTC would be greater than your tax liability, you will receive the excess from the IRS.
  • The IRS will send out funds on a periodic basis starting this July until December 2021, instead of making families wait until tax season to claim the credit.  Families should receive about half of the benefit of the CTC by December, and then they claim the rest on their 2021 tax return.
  • The CTC is extended to families in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

For more information on the American Rescue Plan, see HERE.