61% of Utah Parents Say They Are Disappointed or “Fed Up” With the Lack of Government Support for Their Families During the Pandemic
75% of Utah Families Support President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” Including Direct Payments to Parents with Children
March 3, 2021 — According to a new survey of Utah families released by ParentsTogether Action, a family advocacy organization representing 2.5m parents from across the United States, Utah parents expressed outrage at Senator Mike Lee’s recent opposition to the proposed expansion of the child tax credit as it appears in the American Rescue Plan Act. Though Sen. Lee does support an increase to the child tax credit, he has voiced opposition to giving it to parents monthly, calling it ‘welfare assistance’, and believes that the lowest income families should not receive the benefit at all.
Lee also falsely claims that sending parents an extra $300/month per child would discourage parents from working. According to ParentsTogether’s survey, 85% of parents disagreed with Lee’s position that parents with the very lowest incomes, who don’t owe taxes, should not be eligible for child payments. 88% of Utah parents disagreed with Senator Lee’s statement that implied taking care of children was not a legitimate form of work. 66% of those surveyed believe it is ‘very important’ that they receive the child tax credit monthly, as proposed by Democrats.
ParentsTogether’s survey revealed that 61% of Utah parents expressed disappointment or frustration with the lack of support that families have received during the pandemic, and found broad support amongst Utahns for President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, including direct, recurring payments to families with children under the age of 17. The American Rescue Plan Act passed in the US House of Representatives over the weekend.
The overwhelming majority of Utahns said that they would use the extra funds from the expansion of the Child Tax Credit to pay for housing (79%), food (74%), or utilities (68%).
ParentsTogether survey of Utah families also found that:
- 80% said they support the $300/month child allowance, one of the signature proposals of Biden’s relief legislation, with 56% saying it would make a “huge difference,” with most of those funds going towards food, rent/mortgage, or utilities, enrichment/activities, and childcare.
- When asked about President Biden’s relief plan, 75% of respondents said they supported it, with only 5% of respondents saying they do not support it.
- 64% of respondents said they were either somewhat frustrated or very frustrated by the Republicans’ position of voting against or shrinking the size of the American Rescue Plan.
- 83% of respondents said they thought it was more important to deliver more relief even if it meant the bill did not receive bipartisan support. Conversely, only 17% of respondents said it was more important to deliver on a bipartisan bill, even if it meant cutting out various forms of relief to families and cities.
- 46% of respondents said the lack of aid in earlier stages of the pandemic “definitely” or “probably” impacted how they voted in the 2020 election. And that number went up to 69% if a release bill isn’t passed in the near future.
“Utah families are struggling, and that’s why parents overwhelmingly support delivering the child tax credit monthly and including the families who need help the most. Shame on Senator Lee for standing in the way and abandoning so many of his constituents,” said Justin Ruben, co-Director of ParentsTogether. “Utah families need the Senate to pass this proposal and then make it permanent.”
In their own words, Utah parents spelled out why they don’t feel supported by the government right now:
My husband lost his second job & hasn’t been able to get another one. It’s been hard not having the extra money coming in to pay our bills. So without support, we are behind on almost everything!
Low income families I feel don’t have enough help. It’s hard to get food or what we need with no car and you need cash to order or have Walmart deliver food. People that have the money can order in. With EBT I can’t and don’t have much resources to get food into the house.
Most families struggle because the “help” that’s out there for them is limited due to having to meet certain requirements. If you can’t prove that you’ve been affected by the pandemic, then you’re screwed out of any and all help.
In response to the question: “If you could say one thing to Senator Lee about his opposition to sending families pandemic relief cash, what would you say?” parents responded:
How about you live as we do for one year, do the things we HAVE TO DO, have the cash we do not, and then look us in the face and tell we don’t need the help.
Low income families need this money as much as anyone else. Raising a child IS work. These children are the future of America and they should be raised in the best situations possible. Good food, clothes, education and opportunity. None of that is free.
He opposes it because he is wealthy and not one of us common folks. We need help and if he would get off his high horse he would see that! We pay taxes and put just as much into it, if not more. We deserve to be helped in our time of need when there is nothing we can do about this situation.
Protect your constituents or resign.