Lawmakers introduce bill they hope will help new parents

Lawmakers introduce bill they hope will help new parents
Republican and Democratic lawmakers stand together introducing a proposal to help new parents in the first critical year. They announced a new piece of legislation in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Source: Gray DC)

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Republican and Democratic members of Congress are uniting to help new parents.

The “Advancing Support for Working Families Act" would allow families to get an advance of up to $5,000 for the child tax credit in the first year after a birth or adoption.

Arizona’s Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) said the bill proposal will provide parents with more options during the first critical year. She said in her state, 62 percent of families do not have access to unpaid leave through the Family Medical Leave Act.

“We’re very pumped about this if you will,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

Cassidy said in a press conference on Wednesday the proposal would allow new parents to use the money to replace their income if they decide to stay home with the child, or new parents can use the money towards child care if they decide to go back to work.

Stefanik said the proposal is pro-family, pro-business and pro-21st century economy.

“This bill empower families with the choice to receive up front financial assistance during that first critical year,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who joined the announcement Wednesday.

The child tax credit currently is worth up to $2,000 for each child who qualifies. Parents can take full advantage of the credit if they make $400,000 adjusted gross income if filing jointly as a married couple—and $200,000 for anyone else filing for the credit.

Lawmakers say it took more than a year to craft the bill to ensure support from both sides of the aisle.

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