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US Senate Democrats will push to make permanent two provisions of President Joe Biden’s Covid relief bill that provide emergency enhanced benefits for the poor through food assistance and child tax credits, two leading lawmakers said on Sunday, Reuters reports.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that making enhanced child tax credits permanent is an important goal for Democrats, as they seek to move forward with bold new initiatives that also include legislation to upgrade US infrastructure.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Schumer’s fellow New York Democrat, called separately for enhancements for a nutrition program aimed at women, infants and children in the $1.9tn bill to be extended indefinitely.
Biden’s legislation temporarily increased the value of the program’s cash vouchers for fruits and vegetables from $9 per month for children and $11 for women to $35 per month for both.
The bill also expands the U.S. federal child tax credit for one year from a partially refundable $2,000 per child to a fully refundable $3,600 credit for children under 6 and $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17, a move that experts say will significantly decrease child poverty in the United States.
“That’s one of the most important things we can do. We can change America, if we make them permanent,” Schumer told MSNBC. “It will be so good for these kids, their families, but for all of America and our economy.”
Nearly 11 million, or one in seven, US children live in poverty, the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, estimates.
UK ministers must learn from government failures in handling and sharing data if they are to build the necessary long-term public consent to bring the Covid pandemic to an end, according to a highly critical report from MPs.
The public administration and constitutional affairs committee examined the government’s levels of transparency and openness around the data underpinning key decisions, finding a lack of sufficient explanation that it says has placed needless strain on public confidence:
Related: Coronavirus: report scathing on UK government’s handling of data