$3,600 ‘Stimulus Check’ Every Year? Here Is What Democrats Want to Do.
Key point: Biden is not fully opposed to extending the expanded child tax credit, but it will take more negotiations with the Democrats to ensure it would happen. Here is how the future of this tax credit may unfold.
President Joe Biden unveiled his American Families Plan on Wednesday, which calls for a temporary extension of the enhanced child tax credit, a Covid-era policy that was featured in the president’s coronavirus relief package.
And although Democrats largely applauded Biden’s legislative initiative, several party members think it falls short of providing enough relief to American families.
This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) released a bill on Tuesday that pushes for a permanent extension of the child tax credit.
“Through sensible, but bold investments, we can put workers’ minds at ease and ready our country to come roaring back. All while lifting millions out of poverty by permanently extending the hugely popular expansions the Ways and Means Committee made to key tax credits in the American Rescue Plan,” Neal said in a statement.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan expands the existing $2,000 annual child tax break to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17. The payments begin phasing out for single parents earning more than $112,500 and married couples making more than $150,000. The legislation allows for parents to receive the tax credit through periodic payments of $250 to $300 for each eligible child, depending on age, with payments expected to start going out as early as July.
But the president’s plan released this week calls on Congress to draft a bill that would extend the child tax credit through 2025.
A slew of Democrats on Capitol Hill, however, including Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) held a press conference Tuesday, urging the Biden administration to make the tax break permanent.
“Some have been concerned about the cost. I say the cost of inaction is too great,” Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) told reporters. “The president will propose his plan. Congress is going to write the bill.”
Democrats argue that the expanded family benefit would help lift millions of children out of poverty.
“This is a lifeline to the middle class, it puts money in families’ pockets and it cuts all child poverty in half. It provides children and their families with additional payments throughout the year that help them with the cost of food, child care, diapers, health care, clothing and taxes,” DeLauro said.
It’s unclear whether the measure would pass, considering the Democrats’ razor-thin margins in both congressional chambers. Historically, the issue has been able to rally bipartisan support, but several Republicans have balked at the permanent extension, as families received loads of direct federal relief over the past year from unemployment insurance and three rounds of stimulus checks.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity in front of us, to strengthen our democracy and build an economy that works for everyone,” Bennet said.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill. This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest.