Millions of families this weekend will stop receiving monthly child tax payments for the first time in months after Congress failed to pass an extension of the expanded credit.
As lawmakers scramble to restart talks to renew the expansion, more than 30 million families who have been receiving the monthly payments since last July will not see another round on January 15.
Democrats temporarily extended the child tax credit to early 2021 as part of a sweeping coronavirus relief package passed under President BidenJoe BidenGallego on Jan. 6 Rioters: “F— them” Psaki: Why is the GOP afraid of presidential debates? Biden calls on employers to make vaccines mandatory despite Supreme Court ruling MORE.
As part of the expansion, Democrats removed work requirements for credit, increased the maximum credit amount, and allowed eligible people to access half the credit amount through monthly payments.
Many Democrats and advocates have called for the expanded credit to become permanent, touting it as a significant contributor to reducing child poverty by allowing members of low-income households to access the full amount, as well as a way to to help relieve middle incomes. families.
“You see people spending it on bills, food, school supplies, some to save and some to pay off debt, and I think that speaks to the real value of this kind of economic aid, in especially in the middle. of a pandemic,” Ahmad Ali, press secretary at progressive pollster Data for Progress, told The Hill. “It’s about making it a little easier to raise a family to stay afloat through it all.”
Democratic leaders aimed to pass the extension as part of a broader social and climate spending plan known as the Build Back Better Act, a cornerstone of President Biden’s economic agenda.
But those efforts hit a snag in the face of opposition from the senator. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin says he won’t vote to ‘eliminate or weaken the filibuster’ Democracy is on life support – and the GOP wants to unplug Biden: ‘I don’t know if we can make it happen’ (DW.Va.), a key centrist who has expressed concerns about credit expansion, in addition to the overall package in its current form. Manchin cited rising inflation as one of his reasons.
“I cannot vote to continue with this bill. I can not. I tried everything humanly possible. I can’t make it,” Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday” in December. “It is a no to this legislation.
Democrats have expressed hope that the tax credit and broader discussions can be revived and expect negotiations to resume in the coming weeks. Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer Biden’s Desperate Speech to Keep Minority Voters (DN.Y.) also expressed hope earlier this month that the bill would eventually be introduced.
Democrats are using a process known as budget reconciliation to pass the bill, which will allow them to approve the package in the Senate 50-50 by a simple majority. But to push through the plan, Democrats need their party’s 50 senators to support it.
representing John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthOn the trail: Pensions offer window into House Democratic mood Democrats keen to fill power vacuum after Pelosi leaves Democrats face rising pensions as tough year unfolds finish MORE (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, told reporters earlier this week that he hoped the expanded child tax credit would be one of the key policies that can stay in the final version of the plan.
“I think one element of the BBB that people would really feel is the child tax credit before midterms. The rest they won’t feel,” Yarmuth said, though he acknowledged that Manchin, who criticized the advantage structure, is “not big on that one.”
While most Republicans oppose the design of the expanded child tax credit that Biden signed last year, some have expressed interest in reaching a bipartisan agreement on a path forward for the tax credit. . But they said the benefit would likely be very different from the Democrat-backed expansion.
“Unfortunately it went to very high income people. It was not work-related, and I would prefer that we revert to the original wording,” the senator said. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret Collins Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Biden’s FDA nominee goes through key Senate committee Like it or not, all paths for Democrats go through Joe Manchin MORE (R-Maine) previously told The Hill.
Advocates and experts say returning to previous versions of the credit, which included work requirements and a credit that was not fully refundable, would hurt the most vulnerable.
“It’s about reducing the rate of extreme poverty, and these are the people who, because they have no income, or have very limited income, have hardly benefited much from the tax credit for children before it becomes fully reimbursable,” researcher Stephen Nuñez, who leads guaranteed income policy research for the Jain Family Institute, told The Hill.
Nuñez added that it is “very clear that the fully refundable benefit has a disproportionate impact on African-American child poverty and deep poverty and Hispanic poverty and deep poverty.”
Data released by Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy in 2019 showed stark racial disparities when breaking down the demographics of families’ access to credit before the year’s expansion. last.
At the time, the group said in its report that more than half of “black, non-Hispanic, and Hispanic children are being left behind, compared to 23% of non-Hispanic white children; and nearly one in five non-Hispanic black children receive no credit at all.
“It’s pretty clear that it’s full repayment that does the lion’s share of the job of fighting child poverty,” Nuñez said. “So that’s definitely something that, in the Build Back Better resurrection negotiations, you’d imagine Democrats would want to hold their ground if they wanted to keep the child tax credit as part of that package.”