U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, announced today (10/18), the LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families Today) the Middle Class Act, it’s a bill that will provide middle class and working families with a tax credit of up to $6,000 a year—or up to $500 a month—to address the rising cost of living.

According to one survey, 57 percent of Americans do not have enough cash to cover a $500 unexpected expense—meaning that a rent increase, medical bill, or child care expense could lead to a financial emergency.

“Americans are working harder than ever but stagnant wages mean they can’t keep up with cost of living increases,” Senator Harris said. “We should put money back into the pockets of American families to address rising costs of childcare, housing, tuition, and other expenses.”

“Our tax code should reflect our values and instead of more tax breaks for the top 1 percent and corporations, we should be lifting up millions of American families.”

The LIFT the Middle Class Act would:

  • Provide up to $6,000 a year per family, in the form of a refundable tax credit.
  • Tax credit applies to households earning under $100,000 annually.
  • Tax credit provides up to $3,000 for single filers earning under $50,000 per year.
  • The tax cut can be accessed each month or at the end of the year.
  • Families can receive up to $500 per month.
  • Individuals can receive up to $250 per month.

“Americans want a tax system that’s fair, and they’re tired of seeing benefits go to the wealthy and corporations while everyone else struggles to get ahead,” Natalie Foster, Co-chair of the Economic Security Project said.

“We need real action to provide financial relief to the working and middle-class, which is exactly what this bill does.”

Despite the low unemployment rate, millions of Americans still face the spectre of economic insecurity. One surprise expense — one family or medical emergency — is often all it can take to knock a happy household into a financial tailspin, Sam Hammond, director of Poverty and Welfare, Niskanen Center said.

“The LIFT the Middle Class Act goes a long way to rectifying this problem, ensuring the majority of working households, up and down the income ladder, have a steady stream of resources for transitioning through turbulent times,” he said.

“The Act builds on the growing mountain of evidence demonstrating cash — money — is often the single best tool policymakers have meeting the diverse and varied needs of households.”

“As an economist, the Act also excites me as a tool for ensuring demand stays high in the face of another recession, thereby helping to buoy the economy as a whole,” Hammond said.