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Rep. Gallego: Bipartisan proposal would benefit more than 400,000 AZ children

In Arizona, more than 400,000 children would quickly benefit from legislation that passed the U.S. House this week.

It’s a bipartisan proposal to expand the federal Child Tax Credit, after a pandemic-era expansion funded through the American Rescue Plan expired in 2022.

If passed, the proposal would lift as many as 500,000 children above the poverty line by 2025. Roughly 16 million children would be eligible nationwide, and roughly half of them live in families that would see a $630 or more gain in the first year.

“In the past we have not increased the amount that you get for our working class families” said Arizona Democrat Ruben Gallego. “And now we are voting, essentially, to do that.”

According to Gallego, this expansion is more finely tuned than the previous one.

“This is a compromise between Democrats and Republicans where businesses get a tax cut,” said Gallego. “And at the same time our families get a little relief. The benefit to Arizona is that it helps us both ways. Number one, we have a lot of families to set up. 400,000 families are going to have a good net benefit from this. But we also have a lot of tax cuts that are very beneficial to Arizona.”

One example is the research and development tax cut bundled with the proposal, which would encourage growth of in-state businesses investing in those areas.

“There needed to be a compromise in order for the working class, everyday Arizonans to have a chance – you know, have a little relief,” Gallego said.

Moving forward, it’s in the Senate’s hands.

“I don't want to go into this and sit on this bill with the Senate and say, ‘This is it, take it or leave it,’” said Gallego. “You just can’t do that. You’re not being realistic and you’re essentially punishing people you want to help. So I’m hoping that they keep the bill as is. And if they need to amend it, I hope they amend it the least amount. Because the goal of this is to help the most people, and I hope they have that same focus.”

If the expansion passes, he added, “If you assume that you are eligible for this, please talk to whoever does your taxes.”

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.