WASHINGTON — Both of West Virginia's U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Wednesday helped introduce legislation aimed at helping parents of new children.
The Advancing Support for Working Families Act would allow families the option to advance up to $5,000 of their child tax credit in the first year of a child’s life or the first year a family adopts a child, according to a release from Capito's office.
Families can also choose to advance their child credit without having to miss work or sacrifice a state or employer’s family/medical leave policy to pay for other expenses.
Capito said that as a mother, she is aware of how potentially helpful this legislation can be to parents of young children.
“As a working mother and grandmother, I understand the difficulties many families face when it comes to making adjustments during the first year of a child’s life,” Senator Capito said. “There is study after study that shows what a difference it makes in a child’s life to ease into the life of a family that a baby feels in these first several months that are very critical to their wellbeing.
"This legislation is the creative and flexible solution needed to address this issue, and I am confident that this will help many families in West Virginia and across the country create the best environment for their newborns.”
While many other paid leave proposals require parents to take off work to receive benefits, the bill allows teleworkers the option to access child care benefits and to continue working from home while they take care of their new child, according to the release.
Low income earners who do not qualify for the full refundable portion of the child tax credit can elect to receive a benefit adjusted to 100% wage replacement over 12 weeks of work.
The bill does not raise taxes or take away from Social Security, Capito noted.
“No parent or family should struggle to raise their child, which is why I am proud to stand with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to introduce this bipartisan bill that will help working families cover the costs of raising a child," Manchin said. "This bill would help West Virginian and American families by giving financial support without raising taxes or creating employer mandates. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this legislation to support working families in West Virginia and across America.”
Capito attended a press conference Wednesday first announcing the bill, which has received endorsement not only from both Republicans and Democrats but from members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.