Today, the latest installment of President Biden’s extended Child Tax Credit payments are hitting bank accounts in every corner of the state. The last four payments sent $1.8 billion to Michigan families, a lifesaver for families that ensure Michigan children have food on the table, school supplies, and alleviate the financial stressors of their caregivers.
Yet, despite these middle-class tax cuts helping families make ends meet, every single Michigan Republican voted against these payments. One Michigan parent — Kim Ludwig of Allegan County — shared her frustration with her representative, Congressman Fred Upton, for voting against them while praising President Biden and Democrats in Congress for keeping her family afloat through this year.
Read what she had to say below:
By: Kim Ludwig, parent, Allegan County
As a mother of a 13-year-old, I am used to expecting the unexpected and preparing for the worst. But nothing could have possibly prepared me for the COVID-19 pandemic and the toll it would take on my family over the past 18 months.
The first few months of the pandemic were chaotic, but it all seemed temporary. When I lost my job in that chaos, what seemed like a fleeting worry quickly turned into fear about the long-term impacts on my family. We’re used to being a two-income household and being without my job as the pandemic dragged on, we knew we needed additional support to keep paying our bills.
That’s why I’m so grateful to now have a compassionate leader like Joe Biden in the White House. Upon taking office, President Biden worked to immediately address the nation’s health and economic crisis by passing the American Rescue Plan, which has helped my family keep a roof over our head, food in our bellies, and clothes on our backs no thanks to congressional Republicans like Fred Upton.
Under President Biden’s leadership, Democrats in Congress passed the American Rescue Plan which sent billions of dollars into communities like ours to ensure expedited recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and has been a life-line for my family. I was ecstatic to see that Democrats’ bill not only addressed the effects of the pandemic on businesses and schools, but prioritized getting checks in pockets and cutting taxes for middle-class families.
After seeing Republicans in Washington prioritize the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations over working people early on during the pandemic, I remember worrying that some politicians in D.C. were still forgetting those of us who still hadn’t recovered financially even as restaurants and shops began to open again. This worry turned to anger when I learned that my congressman, Fred Upton, along with every single Republican in Congress, voted against me and my family when they voted to block the American Rescue Plan.
Fortunately, President Biden and the Michigan Democrats didn’t forget about middle-class families like mine. They fought to invest in working families and kids when my own congressman wouldn’t — from the expanded Child Tax Credit to the continued unemployment benefits.
These benefits have meant the world to my family. Since my daughter was out of school, she no longer received the free lunches she used to get every day. As the middle-class tax cuts began hitting my bank account in July, I didn’t have to worry about that extra cost and could instead purchase her sandwiches and snacks without thinking about the financial burden.
In August, instead of asking my father-in-law for financial support for school supplies like I had to last year, that month’s tax credit helped me buy my daughter’s pencils, notebooks, and even some new clothes. It warmed my heart to be able to provide that for her for the first time in years, but I won’t ever forget the anger I felt learning that my own congressman voted against the policies that made that happen.
Congressman Upton had every chance to help his Democratic colleagues in Congress pass this recovery bill, but instead used every excuse to vote against working families — even though he was one of the biggest advocates for tax breaks for the wealthy. This blatant disregard for the needs of his constituents is appalling, especially considering how overwhelmingly popular this bill is across the country and here at home.
Like Fred Upton said himself, the previous COVID-19 relief bills were all bipartisan. So what changed with Joe Biden in the Oval Office? My congressman made his stance pretty clear: He’d rather score political points by obstructing Democrats’ agenda than actually help push through the legislation that benefits constituents like me.
Today, I’m employed again and my husband and I are able to provide for our family. But we will never forget the peace of mind that President Biden and Democrats are giving us when those tax credit payments hit my bank account each month, my daughter won’t forget the sense of normalcy she was able to gain again this summer, and my entire family will not forget that our Congressman Fred Upton voted against us every chance he got.
Now, the Build Back Better agenda provides the chance to have this life-saving money extended for another year. It’s time for Rep. Upton to get on the side of his constituents and not the people who line his pockets.