Stimulus Check for Millions Won’t Be Coming: This week, for the first time in seven months, the 15th of the month will pass without the distribution of payments from the expanded child tax credit. That’s because the credit, which was brought into place by the American Rescue Plan Act in March of 2021, expired at the end of 2021. The White House’s proposed Build Back Better agenda, which would have extended the credit by an additional year, did not pass in time for the checks to continue into January.
A ‘Stimulus Check’ Denied?
The package passed the House of Representatives last fall, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), whose vote was almost certainly needed in order for the bill to pass, expressed his opposition to the bill in a December Fox News interview and has specifically been skeptical about the child tax credit continuing, especially without a work requirement.
This left the fate of the president’s agenda uncertain heading into 2022. But now, a new report says that negotiations are once again taking place.
According to Axios, Sen. Manchin has signaled his willingness to return to the Build Back Better negotiations. However he has “demands,” per the report, which don’t bode well for the child tax credit to return in its 2021 form.
Manchin, per Axios, is “open to reengaging on the climate and child care provisions” in the Build Back Better bill, but is only willing to do so if the tax credit is either reduced or eliminated.
According to people familiar with the talks, Manchin is willing to come back to the table if the White House “removes the enhanced child tax credit from the $1.75 trillion package — or dramatically lowers the income caps for eligible families.”
Even without the child tax credit, the report added, Manchin remains concerned about the size of the package.
Axios, however, laid out another scenario: The White House could pass a version of Build Back Better that passes muster with Manchin, and then hold a separate debate later in the year about the child tax credit, aimed at making it an issue in the midterm elections. Manchin would probably still be opposed, but the White House would have to find some Republican votes for a version of the child tax credit.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), last year, proposed a similar framework called a “child allowance.” The plan got some bipartisan praise when Romney announced it last February, but never really moved forward, and the American Rescue Plan Act, with its child tax credit, was passed instead. However, the White House could, in lieu of including the child tax credit in Build Back Better, negotiate with Romney on a version of his plan.
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.