There are a lot of benefits to making school lunch and other social benefits more universal. But, yes, it's expensive to do.
It's been especially important to low-income families and families of color.
Early studies find that the enhanced credit reduced childhood poverty and food insufficiency.
Some 6 million returns from last year have yet to be processed. Delays could snowball for seasons to come.
The payments typically came through about this time, but not this month. Some families had come to depend on that extra money.
The one-year program increased payments and expanded eligibility to the poorest families. Congress has not moved to extend those changes.
The expansion of the child tax credit was temporary and will expire at the end of the year unless Congress votes to extend it.
The revamped CTC provides a monthly check to families — without requiring an income.
Opponents fear that requirement could make the benefit inaccessible to the families who need it most.
The people who most need the aid “have to jump the most hurdles to get it,” says Chabeli Carrazana, economy reporter at the 19th.