Stimulus Checks in the Works? Will Child Tax Credit Compromise Win Back Manchin on Build Back Better? In a bid to rescue President Joe Biden’s failed “Build Back Better” legislation before the 2022 midterms, key Senate Democrats are reportedly considering scaling back eligibility for the child tax credit–what many considered the unofficial fourth stimulus checks–in an effort to win the support of moderate West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin.
The Build Back Better bill never passed in the Senate after Senator Joe Manchin told President Joe Biden and the press that he couldn’t support the bill over fear such large-scale spending would worsen inflation and hurt American workers.
On Tuesday, Manchin reiterated his refusal to support the bill in its current form, describing the legislation as “dead.”
“What Build Back Better bill? It’s dead,” he told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the legislation.
In December, however, President Joe Biden attempted to save face over failure to pass his landmark legislation by claiming he will “get something done” with Senator Manchin.
Senators Attempt to Woo Manchin on Child Tax Credit
Presumably aware that the 2022 midterms could strip the Democrats of their technical majority in the Senate, Congressional Democrats continue to look for new ways to win over moderates within their party and get landmark legislation passed before election time.
Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado has reportedly played a central role in negotiations to revive the extended child tax credits that were implemented during the pandemic to provide financial relief to families.
According to Axios, Bennett has said he is willing to lower the income limit for full child tax credit payments to $150,000 for families and $90,000 for individuals. However, Senator Manchin told West Virginia’s MetroNews that he wants the child tax credits to be prioritized for families making less than $75,000.
And while Manchin may meet Congressional Democrats in the middle, it could put the White House in a difficult spot. Should President Joe Biden accept the compromise and implement a means-tested child tax credit once the program ends this year, it could mean that some families earning less than $400,000 will see their taxes increase.
Throughout his campaign, Joe Biden promised not to raise taxes on any American family earning less than $400,000 – meaning Biden would effectively have to go back on a campaign promise for the sake of passing his $2.1 trillion Build Back Better bill.
Why Manchin’s Support Is Necessary for More Stimulus Checks
While Democrats don’t have the 60 votes they need to pass their Build Back Better bill in the Senate, they do have 50 votes and a tie-break vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. If every single Senate Democrat is on board with the legislation, the bill could be passed through the budget reconciliation process with a simple majority vote.
This would allow the Democrats to pass not just the budget considerations in the legislation, but every single provision unrelated to the budget that is also contained within the bill, with a simple majority vote.
It would mean that not only could the many spending plans in the legislation go ahead, but it could also contain legislative measures like a pathway to citizenship for the tens of millions of illegal aliens currently living in the United States.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.