washington — U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., joined a bipartisan bicameral group to introduce legislation with resources to pay for leave and cover the cost of day care, baby supplies, and other expenses associated with a new child.

The Advancing Support for Working Families Act would allow families the option to advance up to $5,000 of their recently doubled child tax credit in the first year of a child’s life or the first year a family adopts a child. Families can also choose to advance their child credit without having to miss work or sacrifice a state or employer’s family/medical leave policy to pay for other expenses.

Most other paid leave proposals require parents to take off work to receive benefits; this bill allows teleworkers the option to access child care benefits and to continue working from home while they take care of their new child. Additionally, the bill does not raise taxes or take away from Social Security.

Low-income earners who do not qualify for the full refundable portion of the child tax credit can elect to receive a benefit adjusted to 100 percent wage replacement over 12 weeks of work.

The bill is the only bipartisan, bicameral legislation to support working families during a child’s first year. It is the product of more than a year of work to craft a bill that could pass with bipartisan support. 

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