Government cash flowed to tens of millions of Americans.
The Democrats approved direct payments as part of the law. The third round ofStimulus payments was popular with a huge majority of the public. The child tax credit was boosted in size and reach thanks to a one-year change in the benefit program.
It was designed to establish a new link between the federal government and children, like the one between Social Security and seniors. Up to $300 a month is provided to parents per child, depending on their age. Early studies show that it's already been effective in lifting children out of poverty.
Americans aren't sold on keeping the program.
Data for Progress and Fighting Chance for Families gave Insider the latest data on support for making the child tax credit expansion permanent, which indicated that support has hovered around 50% since the first checks went out.
The sample group is made up of self-identified Democrats, Republicans, and independents and has a three-percentage point margin of error. The poll was taken from December 3 to 6.
There is support for making the child tax credit permanent.
Data for Progress.
Not everyone is getting the money is part of the opposition. Sean McElwee, founder of the liberal polling organization, said in an interview that the big thing is with the checks. The child tax credit goes to a small group of people.
The child allowance recipients constitute a smaller pool. 169 million direct payments were made by the IRS. 35 million families with children are receiving monthly checks from the federal government.
Parents and grandparents tend to be the beneficiaries of the cash, and support for the measure shoots up among them. Lindsay Owens, the executive director at the left-leaning Groundwork Cooperative, told Insider that recipients, independents and Republicans love the Child Tax Credit.
People's views regarding the program are influenced by partisanship. Democrats overwhelmingly supported the temporary benefit, a small majority of independents did, and Republicans were almost split.
Democrats have an idea that if they just send money, people will like them.
The group's polling shows that opposition to keeping the child tax credit goes up for people who are more than 70 years old.
"Americans don't have much exposure to social insurance until they're on Medicare and Social Security," said Samuel Hammond, a poverty expert at the Niskanen Center. Any expansion of programs for kids and young families can be threatening to the set.
The retirees, Social Security recipients, and the AARP want to hold a strong line in defense of existing entitlement programs, but they end up being soft opponents to expansions to younger generations.
Owens believes that Democrats will be in a strong position to run on an incredibly popular and effective program in the upcoming elections.
She said that low support for the child tax credit among seniors is not an insurmountable hurdle.
Democrats are counting on the program to help them in next year's elections, which will favor Republicans. The chair of the Finance Committee, Ron Wyden of Oregon, said he had been hearing from people in his home state about how they were using the new money.
Wyden told Insider that they said, "Hey Ron, things like buying shoes." The account from the real world is what anyone who thinks this is a luxury thing should think about.
There are signs that giving people money may not be a recipe for success at the ballot box. The poll found that only 40% of respondents credited Democrats for Biden's checks, even though the party approved it.
"I think the Democrats have a naive idea that if they just send money, people will like them," he said.
The last payment is due on December 15. Democrats on Capitol Hill are trying to get it renewed for a year as part of a $2 trillion social and climate spending bill. Manchin has thrown cold water on the measure at times, but hasn't signaled whether he'd give a thumbs-up.
It will take time for attitudes to change.
"We live in a country that is deeply divided at the end of the day," he said. The idea that a single government program will shift through these long-held ideological and partisan beliefs is not realistic. We're talking about a game of margin.