Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday wore a new hat in the Biden administration – publicizing the expanded Child Tax Credit – while she has taken criticism for failing to visit the border since she was named border czar in March.
Harris took the lead on the campaign to ensure American families know about the tax benefit, which was expanded under the American Rescue Plan, during an event in Pennsylvania on Monday.
Earlier this month, the White House designated Monday Child Tax Credit Awareness Day to get the word out to the American public.
"This tax cut will give our nation’s hardworking families with children a little more breathing room when it comes to putting food on the table, paying the bills, and making ends meet," President Biden said in a statement on Monday. "Nearly every working family with children is going to feel this tax cut make a difference in their lives, and we need to spread the word so that all eligible families get the full credit."
The American Rescue Plan increased the maximum amount receivable via the Child Tax Credit to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and $3,000 per child aged 6 through 17, which is equal to $300 and $250 per child per month, respectively.
The Treasury Department noted that the payments can be expected to be issued around the 15th of each month, starting on July 15.
Meanwhile, Republicans have repeatedly criticized Harris for failing to visit the border, while some Democrats in border states have also begun to do so as the crisis continues.
Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar on Saturday said he had not heard back from Harris after inviting her to visit the border.
Earlier this month Harris visited Mexico and Guatemala as part of her job addressing the "root causes" of immigration.
Members of her own party were dismayed by some of the comments she made during a joint press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, where she cautioned migrants against making the "dangerous trek" to the U.S. border and warned they would be turned away.
Republicans have begun calling on Biden to replace Harris in her role dealing with the immigration crisis.
The U.S. continues to battle a surge in migrant encounters at the U.S. border, which totaled more than 180,000 in May, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Harris told Univision in an interview earlier this month that she planned to visit the border but declined to give a date when asked.
In addition to tackling immigration, Biden also asked Harris to take the lead on voting rights. She is chairing a pro-union task force and leading the White House’s push to expand broadband access.