South Court Auditorium
9:50 A.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Sharron, for that very meaningful introduction. And Sharron and I were talking earlier. You know, there's so much about the Child Tax Credit that is about the - the impact - the intergenerational impact.
And Sharron was sharing with me that her grandfather actually worked with President Kennedy. And we were talking about the fact that, obviously, her family has a long, strong, and deep commitment to public service and this good work. So, thank you, Sharron, for that introduction.
It is good to be here with two of the most energetic champions of our nation's working families: Secretary Janet Yellen and Gene Sperling.
And as many of you know, Secretary Yellen and I are working on a number of things.
Gene, I heard your introduction about the conspiracy. It's not a conspiracy; it's just a collaboration to do very important work to lift people up with one of the - the leaders in the world on how we do that in terms of economic empowerment.
So, Secretary Yellen, thank you. Gene Sperling, thank you for your years of hard work. You really are the backbone of what we, as an administration, have been doing with the Child Tax Credit.
So, on this day of action, there are so many individuals and organizations who are dedicated to action: the United Way, AARP, and Code for America. And I want to thank all of you for the work you do every day and for joining us today.
So, our message today is simple: If you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, we want you to get those credits. And you know why: Working families deserve a break.
Last month, I received a letter from a mother in Pennsylvania. She and her husband have four children. They both work 50-hour weeks. They coordinate their schedules to minimize the cost of childcare, and their family is still barely holding on. They just need a little help, and that's what she told me in her note - a hand up, not a handout. A hand up.
And I receive letters like this all the time. The truth is, there are people across our nation who work hard every day and still struggle to get by. And it should not be this way in our country - in the United States of America.
And the President and I firmly believe that we have to do better. And that is why we fought to expand the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit as part of the American Rescue Plan: to give families and working people a little help.
The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit
and extended it to millions more families.
And the American Rescue Plan also nearly tripled the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit and made it available to workers between 19 and 24 years of age, as well as to workers 65 years old and above.
These tax credits are already making a difference. In fact, thanks to the Child Tax Credit, we are on a path to cut child poverty in America by 40 percent. That bears repeating: We are on a path to cut child poverty by 40 percent.
This is historic and, as I said earlier, will have a generational impact.
Millions of families have used their monthly Child Tax Credit - CTC - check to put food on the table, to save for college, to cover daily expenses, and to pay down debt. That is why this Day of Action is so important.
If you are eligible for either of these credits or even if you think you might be eligible, please go to the following website: ChildTaxCredit.gov. ChildTaxCredit.gov.
It is a quick and easy way to check whether you qualify. And if you qualify, all you need to do to receive benefits is to file your taxes.
Now, one more important note: If you are one of the more than 30 million families who have already received the Child Tax Credit, you still need to file your taxes. So that is the only way to receive the second half of what you are owed. So, remember: You are owed more, but you still need to file your taxes.
Everyone here knows it will take a hands-on-deck approach to get people signed up for these credits. So, we need help. We need state and local governments to send out texts to remind folks of what they entitled to receive. We need faith-based organizations to spread the word at houses of worship. We need community groups to get people the help they need to file their taxes. And we need everyone to spread the word - be it at Sunday dinner, at the barbershop, at work, at school, and at home.
And I believe and I know our work will be worth it, because every family we lift up, when we do that, we lift up our entire nation.
And that's why the President and I will keep fighting to extend these measures for years to come.
And I'll close today where I began: with that mother from Pennsylvania. In her letter, she wrote that, earlier this year, her family started receiving the monthly Child Tax Credit. And with the money, she described that they bought food, they paid their daily expenses, and they supported local businesses in the process. She wrote, "Nothing fancy." Just making a difference.
So, it's enough to make a difference. And that's why we are here today: to make a difference for working families across our nation, to offer just a little help.
So, thank you all for what you have done and will continue to do. Let's keep getting the word out, and be well and take care.
END 9:57 A.M. EST