Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in New Haven this afternoon to discuss aspects of the American Rescue Plan—including the child tax credit, childcare assistance, and education funding—aimed at addressing the needs of our nation’s children, particularly those living in poverty.
She said that many children and families have faced hardships for years, but that the pandemic has accelerated these issues and made clear the fault lines in our systems.
“And this is a moment then, as we look at where we are, it is a moment to leap frog over what otherwise might have been incremental change to actually fast forward in addressing the longstanding issues that have affected our children,” she said.
Harris joined Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, Governor Ned Lamont, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Commissioner of Early Childhood Beth Bye, and Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families Vannessa Dorantes for a roundtable discussion at the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven on the needs of children during the pandemic and its impact on their mental health.
Experts have estimated the child tax credit contained in the American Rescue Plan will lift nearly half the nation’s children out of poverty, which Harris said is vital due to poverty’s negative effect on children.
“Let us be clear: poverty is trauma inducing,” Harris said.
The vice president later visited a child development center in West Haven with Congresswomen Jahana Hayes and Rosa DeLauro.
“The vice president is very, very interested in what’s happening to women, to children, and families, and again how the rescue plan will give them the relief they have been seeking,” said DeLauro, who has been advocating for the expanded child tax credit contained in the American Rescue Plan for decades.
“I think Connecticut knows what a jewel you have in Rosa DeLauro,” Harris said, to applause. “You tirelessly challenge our country and its leaders to see our children, and to understand that when we lift up our children, we lift up the entire country.”