GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – U.S. Senator Michael Bennet visited Grand Junction to host a roundtable discussion about the Child Tax Credit. He listened to the community’s concerns about the benefits ending, and voiced his own concerns.

Among the community members were working-class parents, educators, and healthcare professionals who all feel their earnings aren’t enough to support their families,

“It’s a blow to the gut every month when you see all your earnings just go out the door,” explains parent Samantha Heintz.

With many having to choose between working, and staying home because child care is unaffordable,

“It’s costly to our economy that people can’t fulfill their full potential as actors in the economy because they’re having to make choices that frankly, other generations of Americans have not had to make,” says Senator Michael Bennet.

2021’s expanded Child Tax Credit has been rolling out crucial tax relief since July, with this month seeing the third payment go to qualifying families across the country.

Some of those families had the opportunity to show Senator Bennet just where this money is going,

“There’s been a real desert here in Mesa County of childcare, and so it was very important for me to take those dollars and invest them back into my teachers,” explains ‘Wishes and Dreams’ Child Care owner Coreen Edwards.

“Access to benefits, access to education,” adds another.

“We had the COVID funding that we were able to apply for through E.L.B. and we helped families with rent and utilities,” says another.

“The roundtable event made one notion loud and clear: families in this community need the expanded child tax credit for years to come,” says KREX5’s Reilly Spence.

“The $600 a month for our two children has made a difference, unfortunately it just isn’t enough; the cost of childcare after that credit will still be more than our mortgage,” continues Heintz.

The CTC has existed since 1976 to help families with work-related child care expenses.

However, during the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan Act made big readjustments to the credit, in the form of larger monthly checks; ranging between $250 and $300.

With the benefits set to end in December, families in Grand Junction are hopeful that Senator Bennet can help extend the payments and continue to benefit families in this community that need it the most.