Nancy Pelosi Says Child Tax Credit Will 'Reduce National Debt, Not Increase It'

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has said that the Child Tax Credit will "reduce the national debt, not increase it."

"Nothing brings more money back to the Treasury than investments in education," Pelosi said while discussing the tax credit at a Thursday event at a Los Angeles public school. She attended the event alongside Democratic California Representative Maxine Waters.

"Early childhood, K through 12, higher ed, postgrad, lifetime learning for our families, our workers," she continued. "Any investments in education for the children are not a cost, they're an investment, and they reduce the national debt, not increase it."

Pelosi Waters Child Tax Credit national debt
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has said that the Child Tax Credit will "reduce national debt, not increase it." She made her comments at a school event alongside Democratic California Representative Maxine Waters. In this photo, Pelosi and Waters stand at a news conference criticizing President Donald Trump's Wall Street policies on Capitol Hill on February 6, 2017 in the Capitol. Mario Tama/Getty

Thus far, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS have paid $15 billion in credits to families with eligible children. The credit sends $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 to 17. Nearly 60 million children were eligible for the first credit payment.

The credit payments will last for one year and are expected to cost over $100 billion total, NPR reported.

The expanded Child Tax Credit was part of the American Rescue Plan, which Congress passed in March. The credit and the overall bill were passed to boost the national economy following the recession caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. No Republican congress members voted for it.

One Republican, Florida Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, called the program corrosive.

"There is substantially more to lifting families out of poverty than government-provided income," he wrote in a February op-ed in the National Review.

At the school event, Pelosi said of the Republicans, "I would hope that it could change the minds of some of the other folks on the other side of the aisle if they hear from their own constituents, how important this is. But they probably go home and take credit for it when they won't even vote for it."

Pelosi called the credit "transformative." The American Rescue Plan could lift over five million children out of poverty this year, cutting child poverty by more than half nationwide, Columbia University's Center on Poverty and Social Policy said.

However, Pelosi said that many families still eligible for the credit may not know about the program. Others may not be registered with the IRS to receive the credits or wrongly worry that the program may make them ineligible for other types of child social aid. She encouraged people to help others take advantage of the credit.

The House Speaker also mentioned that Democrats are currently authoring a $3.5 trillion Human Infrastructure Bill which will make further investments in education, child care, medical leave and healthcare to help parents reenter the workforce.

"We don't have a bill yet, but when we bring it to the floor, we will have the votes," Pelosi said.

Newsweek contacted Pelosi's office for comment.