May 11, 2020

Duckworth & Scott Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help New Parents Receive CARES Act Stimulus Checks This Year

Many parents of newborns must wait until next year to receive their $500 child economic impact payments


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced bipartisan legislation today to ensure more new parents quickly receive the additional $500 per child in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus payments without having to wait until 2021. Currently, parents of children born on or after January 1, 2020, must wait until they file taxes in calendar year 2021 to receive those payments due to eligibility for the additional $500 per child being based on existing Child Tax Credit (CTC) rules. The Newborn CARES Act would waive the existing CTC rules and require the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to develop a system to provide payments to families with newborns once a Social Security Number (SSN) is assigned to the child.

“Families with newborn babies that are experiencing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic can’t wait until next year to send in their rent checks or pay for diapers and a new car seat,” Duckworth said. “These families need immediate help, which is why I’m introducing this bipartisan legislation today to get these payments in the hands of families who need them.”

“With so many Americans facing economic hardship, Congress should take this opportunity to support families in smart, efficient ways,” Scott said. “For parents of newborns, speeding up receipt of relief dollars called for under the CARES Act is a clear way we can help new moms and dads. This is a commonsense, bipartisan solution.”

“New mothers deserve our support and they shouldn’t have to wait for financial relief to help cover the expenses a new baby brings,” Klobuchar said. “As we continue to confront this pandemic, it’s important to ensure that those in need aren’t being asked to meet extra requirements to get vital economic assistance."  

"The goal of the CARES Act was to help as many Americans as quickly as possible,” said Braun. “Unfortunately newborn children were not accounted because the IRS used 2018 tax returns and I am proud to join Senator Duckworth in sponsoring the Newborn CARES Act that will fix this oversight.”

According to a study from earlier this year, over 98 percent of American women pay some type of out-of-pocket cost for delivering a child. New moms can see the average out-of-pocket cost for delivery rise above $4,000, and that does not even include the supplies that families need at home, like clothes, diapers and car seats.

Senator Duckworth has been a strong advocate for women and families during both her service in the House and Senate. In May of last year, Duckworth introduced a bill package to make workplaces more family-friendly, improve childcare services and make it easier for low-income and middle-class families to obtain diapers for their children. In October of 2018, Duckworth’s bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act to provide nursing mothers with private, clean and accessible lactation rooms was signed into law after passing both the House and Senate overwhelmingly. That same year, Duckworth also became the first U.S. Senator to give birth, which led to a historic rules change to make the Senate friendlier for working parents by allowing all Senators to bring their infant children onto the Senate floor, if necessary, during votes while their children are under the age of one.