Stamford Advocate

Pelosi visits state, touts expanded child tax credit

- By Julia Bergman julia.bergman @hearstmedi­

EAST HARTFORD — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the campus of Goodwin University Wednesday was billed as another opportunit­y to highlight the expanded child tax credit approved under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

But it was also a way for Democrats to sell Biden’s agenda ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, including a massive infrastruc­ture package that’s still in the works.

“The goal of the rescue package was to put vaccine in people’s arms, money in people’s pockets, children safely in school and people safely back at work, ” Pelosi said outside the university.

The new tax credit gives eligible families up to $300 a month per child. The third payment will go out to American families later this month. In Hartford alone, 28,000 kids are eligible for the benefit, “a game changer for those kids and their families,” Mayor Luke Bronin said.

Hartford resident Carmen Rodriguez, a grandmothe­r of nine, surrounded by the Democratic officials, underscore­d what the money has meant for her. Her son died a year and a half ago and she is now taking care of his kids and her other grand kids.

“This money is stepping up and helping with the kids education and keeping them focused and on the right track so they won’t fall through the cracks,” she said.

Pelosi said Democrats in Congress are working to make the tax credit, championed by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., permanent.

“Some of it was COVIDorien­ted,” she said of the rescue package. “We want to make it permanent.”

During her brief visit, Pelosi also highlighte­d the work of Congressma­n John Larson, a longtime political ally who is facing at least two Democratic challenger­s next year.

Larson who came to Congress in 1999 has been “a leader for the children, for their parents in the workforce, for their grandparen­ts on social security,” Pelosi said. “Nobody has done more.”

At the state level, Gov. Ned Lamont, who is likely to be on the ballot in Connecticu­t in 2022, has embraced the federal relief from Congress, highlighti­ng in events across the state in recent months how it will lift up Connecticu­t’s working poor. Meanwhile, state lawmakers still have to decide how appropriat­e hundreds of millions in federal coronaviru­s money still unspent.

“Right now, madam speaker, we have more women collecting unemployme­nt than men. We have to continue to do a better job making it easier for everybody to get back to work and for women to get back to work,” Lamont said. “And you’re making that possible for us with your incredible investment­s.”

The governor cited federal investment­s to expand child care and pre- and post-natal care, and the possibilit­y of universal pre-K being included in the federal infrastruc­ture bill — “that makes a difference,” he said.

Pelosi said the $1 trillion infrastruc­ture bill that came out of the Senate is a “fine piece of bipartisan­ship” but it “doesn’t have everything,” and more money to address climate change, among other investment­s, is needed.

“We’ll be fine. We’re on our path. I was in the meetings until I got on the plane to come here,” she said. “I’ll be back on the phone as soon as I leave here.”

Later Wednesday, Pelosi received an honorary degree from Smith College in Northampto­n, Mass.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States