Calling Attention to Expanded Child Tax Credit
This week, I called attention to the availability of the expanded Child Tax Credit of up to $300 per month made possible by the American Rescue Plan. I also applauded the Biden-Harris Administration for its approach to reducing gun violence and the City of Memphis for committing to address gun violence with proven methods. This morning, I was pleased to be briefed on Department of Justice plans to challenge Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws. Earlier this week, I also announced a $49.3 million grant of rescue funds to Memphis International Airport to address the economic impact of the pandemic on air travel and airport concessionaires; announced $7.8 in million minority health outreach grants to Memphis and Shelby County; voted to advance several antitrust measures reining in Big Tech from the Judiciary Committee to the House floor; questioned the CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the commanding officer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about Memphis environmental issues, including the Byhalia Connection pipeline; expressed my satisfaction with the way the Department of Justice handled the criminal case against a Missouri man charged with threatening me and another Member of Congress; met with Turkish parliamentarians; and offered a health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.
I would like to encourage those of you who have children to be on the lookout for advance monthly payments of the newly enhanced Child Tax Credit of up to $300 per month per child. As you may know, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which I was proud to support, expanded the Child Tax Credit to provide up to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children under the age of 18. The American Rescue Plan also provides families with the option to receive the tax credit monthly. The payments are set to be distributed starting July 15th. Your family could receive up to $300 per month for children under the age of six and $250 per month for older children.
A majority of families should begin receiving the monthly payments automatically, with no further action required. If your family did not file a tax return for 2019 or 2020 and did not use the IRS non-filer tool last year to register for the stimulus checks, you should go online and use the IRS Tool for Non-Filers to sign up for monthly child tax credit payments. Another tool will roll out soon to enable tax-filing parents to update information such as income, number of children, and marital status.
If you do not wish to receive the advance monthly payments, you may opt-out to receive the full amount of the credit when you file your 2021 taxes.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact a staff member in my office at 901-544-4131.
Do you have children under age 18 who would benefit from the enhanced Child Tax Credit?
On Wednesday, President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke from the White House about an ambitious plan to address the alarming increase in gun violence over the past 18 months. In a statement released by the White House, Memphis was named as one of the 15 cities that have committed to using American Rescue Plan funds to make sure proven violence-prevention techniques have adequate funding. I applaud both the White House and the City of Memphis for stepping up to address this problem which is, understandably, a big concern in our community and across the country. See my release on the Biden-Harris strategy here.
This morning, I spoke with Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke, the head of the Department’s Civil Rights Division, about their plans to challenge Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws. Attorney General Merrick Garland later made the announcement that the Department would challenge these new discriminatory laws in federal court. These draconian measures would deprive voters waiting in line of food and water and would limit Sunday “souls to the polls” voting, among other things. We must protect the right to vote. See my release on on the DOJ decision here.
The American Rescue Plan I supported and voted for set aside significant funding to address the disruption in air travel caused by the pandemic. On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Memphis International Airport will receive more than $49.3 million, including more than $1.9 million for concessions. See my release here.
On Monday, I announced that the Memphis and Shelby County would receive grants totaling $7,855,982 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. The City of Memphis will receive $3.9 million for the Memphis Fire Department’s innovative and effective health care navigator program. Shelby County will receive $3,955,982 to help build public, academic and community partnerships in response to COVID-19. See my release here.
All day Wednesday and much of Thursday, the Judiciary Committee, on which I serve, considered bills aimed at better enforcing our antitrust laws and reining in Big Tech monopolies. I spoke about the impact these companies have on the average American and on Main Street. See my release and that brief speech here.
On Thursday, representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers testified before the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee on which I serve. I asked for and received assurances from these officials about a review of the Byhalia Connection pipeline that I have asked the Corps to reconsider because of its impact on Boxtown and other southwest Memphis communities and its potential threat to the aquifer that supplies our drinking water. I also asked about the major renovations at Tom Lee Park that the Corps must authorize and about the status of the coal ash cleanup at TVA’s Allen Fossil Plant. See my release and my questioning of these officials here.
On Saturday, I released a statement after a man in Missouri pleaded guilty to making verbal threats involving a noose toward me and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri. I said I was pleased that the Department of Justice is taking this kind of conduct seriously.
Congressman Cohen met with Turkish parliamentarians Thursday evening.
On Thursday night, I met with Turkish parliamentarians at Turkish Ambassador H. Murat Mercan’s residence. As Co-Chairman of the Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, I discussed issues of mutual interest between our countries.
It is becoming clear that those who are not vaccinated are at serious risk of contracting the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is highly transmissible and deadly serious. Those who have been vaccinated are at virtually no risk of the disease. As I have been saying since the first vaccines became available, it is critical that you get the shot – not just for yourself, but for your friends, family and the whole community.
Vaccines are currently available for everyone 12 years of age and older. If you need a ride to a vaccination site, you can call 901-RIDE901 (901-743-3901) to coordinate the best transportation option for you. The City of Memphis is also now coordinating with organizations, congregations, community groups, and businesses to host COVID-19 vaccinations. To find the latest information about vaccination sites, to request a vaccination appointment for a homebound individual, or to set up a community COVID vaccination event, visit https://covid19.memphistn.gov/.
“For folks at home, here’s what you need to know: I’ve been at this a long time and there are things we know that work that reduce gun violence and violent crime, and things that we don’t know about. But things we know about: Background checks for purchasing a firearm are important; a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines — no one needs to have a weapon that can fire over 30, 40, 50, even up to 100 rounds unless you think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests or something; community policing and programs that keep neighborhoods safe and keep folks out of trouble. These efforts worked. They saved lives. But over time, these policies were gutted and were woefully underfunded. In our conversation today, we talked about our strategy to supercharge what works while we continue to push the Congress to act on sensible gun violence legislation.” – President Joe Biden on Wednesday announcing the new White House strategy to address gun violence.
As always, I remain.
Member of Congress