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More ‘Stimulus’ Checks: Could the Expanded Child Tax Credit Go Past This Year?

Expanded Child Tax Credit Check
CUNY Foreign Policy Speech - New York, NY - July 11, 2019

The expanded child tax credit was a big part of the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in March. The legislation mandated checks for families with children, each month between July and December, and one study showed that the first check had an appreciable impact when it came to reducing child poverty.

The expanded tax credit was only for 2021, but the president has been proposing all year that it be extended into the future, first as part of his American Families Plan and later as part of the budget reconciliation package.

A new report says that what to do with the child tax credit has become a key point of contention in negotiations in Congress over the reconciliation package. Namely, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), whose vote is almost certainly necessary for any such package to pass, is opposed to extending the child tax credit in its current form.

According to The Hill, Manchin’s position is an “obstacle.”

“Manchin said that he wants there to be work requirements for the credit. He has also indicated he thinks there should be “means testing” to lower the income limits for the expanded credit,” the Hill report said. “Democratic lawmakers and left-leaning groups say Manchin’s proposal could weaken the tax credit’s ability to reduce child poverty and help families cover critical expenses.”

“If Senator Manchin thinks that only people making $60,000 or less have needs for their children that they can’t meet, he’s totally out of touch,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said in a statement, per The Hill.

It’s not clear which direction the talks will go. If enough is stripped out of the bill, it runs the risk of losing support from progressives, especially those on the House side.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported further on the state of the negotiations-including the scenario that the child tax credit might only be extended for one year. That would reduce the cost of the package, but would postpone an additional fight to get it extended beyond then.

The president is set to meet with both progressive and moderate factions in the hope of reaching a deal.

“In past meetings, Biden has told the two sparring camps of Democrats that they have no choice but to compromise — suggesting that they may have to come to terms with a smaller, roughly $2 trillion package that forces them to scale back their policy priorities,” the Post said. “But party lawmakers have agreed on neither the scope of the cuts nor the final price tag for the bill, resulting in a stalemate that has kept Democrats from acting to adopt a measure that many see as critical to their own reelection prospects.”

The author of the Post story tweeted that Biden had floated “a (slightly) smaller $1.75T to $1.9T package to House progressives, plus just a one-year extension of the child tax credit.”

 Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

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