83% of West Virginia Families Support President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan,” Including Direct Monthly Payments to Parents with Children
85% of Parents Say Delivering More Relief More Important Than Passing a Smaller, Bipartisan Relief Bill
March 4, 2021 — According to a new survey of West Virginia families released by ParentsTogether Action, a family advocacy organization representing 2.5m parents from across the United States, West Virginia parents expressed disappointment at the level of financial support during the pandemic, and overwhelmingly support (83%) President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which includes direct payments to parents with children 17 and under. The American Rescue Plan Act passed in the US House of Representatives over the weekend and is being debated in the Senate.
86% of West Virginia parents said they support the expanded Child Tax Credit, one of the signature proposals of Biden’s relief legislation, that would give families up to $300/month per child, with 67% saying it would make a “huge difference,” to their family. The overwhelming majority of West Virginians said that they would use the extra funds from the expansion of the Child Tax Credit to pay for utilities (76%), food (69%), or housing payments (60%). Parents also said they would use the money for childcare/babysitting (25%), education (22%), or activities/enrichment programs for their children (20%).
The ParentsTogether survey of West Virginia families also found that:
- When asked about President Biden’s relief plan, 83% of respondents said they supported it, 69% said they “strongly support,” 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.
- 85% 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 15% 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.
- 56% 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 76% for upcoming elections if a meaningful relief bill isn’t passed in the near future.
“West Virginia families are struggling, and that’s why parents overwhelmingly support the American Rescue Plan and want their representatives to focus on delivering as much relief as possible. As the Senate vote nears, Senator Manchin should represent the views of his constituents and wholeheartedly support this bill,” said Justin Ruben, co-Director of ParentsTogether. “Then, we urge Senator Manchin to continue supporting West Virginia families by making the new monthly payments to parents permanent.”
In their own words, West Virginia parents spelled out why they don’t feel supported by the government right now:
My family is considered 130% below poverty level in WV and yet the last time we received food stamps or SNAP was October because they say we have too many assets. This is ridiculous because we now have 4 children, one of which is on the autism spectrum and also has severe ADHD.Amanda
We are not getting enough help– I am facing eviction next month.Annette
I still have my job with the school board, but my husband and I still [may] run out of money with our high power bills and other bills.Rosa
We are struggling- we have no money to pay rent and bills. Eviction is close by; I can’t feed my children. We are laid off from work with no income because my unemployment benefits are exhausted and an 11 week extension isn’t going to unbury me in debt or help me keep my home.Alana
Any money given is so great and does help some. But honestly it’s not enough. People are getting evicted because they can’t work, people don’t have enough money to feed their families, buy diapers and formula for their babies. We need more help. This has been going on since March 2020, we’ve received around $1,800 since then, that pays all my bills one time. It’s just not enough.Haley
Well I think families like mine should receive food stamps and a check from the state to help with things they need. My family has one parent working and a four year old little girl. We are making do but bills are getting behind. Sad when you have to choose food or bills. Of course I am choosing food cause we all have to eat.Kelly
In response to the question: If you could talk with Senator Manchin about what he should do to help West Virginia families, what would you say?” parents responded:
I’d ask him to find a family who would have room for him to spend 1 month, and then I would ask him to think again if still does not support these things. I believe if he actually knew what his constituents were truly going through, he would change his mind on what he supports.Brittany
You obviously don’t know what it’s like to live a barely livable wage. My mother overworks herself every day. She comes in when she’s supposed to be off, she works overtime every week. She pushes herself to the point of not even being able to eat and take care of herself. She needs that extra money and she needs that time back.Leviathan
Go out and talk to the everyday people of your state. Try meeting with more that are considered to be at or below poverty level as these are the ones who know what kind of difference the stimulus payments make.Amanda
When asked about Senator Manchin’s opposition to including an increase to the minimum wage in the COVID-19 relief bill, 55% of respondents said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” disagreed with Manchin’s position. Addressing Senator Manchin, one respondent wrote, “Raise the minimum wage! There’s no way we can keep a home at this rate of pay- you have to work two jobs just to make ends meet! The price of rent averages 1000/month or above plus utilities, food, and healthcare. You cannot make it on $7.25/hr. You are not for the people of the state and you should be as a senator!!”