Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has made his position clear on the future of the child tax credit saying that if it is to continue into 2022, it must have a firm work requirement together with a family income cap of around $60,000.
Such demands by Manchin would cripple one of President Biden’s signature programs designed to help working families, but they will also cut the package’s overall costs.
Previously, Manchin had said he would not support any spending package higher than $1.5 trillion.
As of 2019, West Virginia had a child poverty rate of roughly 20% — with a national average of 9%
Democrats are looking to make Joe Biden’s temporary increase to the child tax credit under the American Rescue Plan permanent. Under current US tax code the normal maximum child tax credit outside of the pandemic is $2,000
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has informed the White House he would like to see child tax credit include a requirement of work and $60,000 income cap
President Biden’s American Families Plan, part of his sweeping Build Back Better agenda, would raise the maximum yearly child tax benefit to $3,000 per child aged 6 to 17, and $3,600 for children under 6.
The current maximum credit is $2,000, doubled from $1,000 by Donald Trump‘s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Currently, two parent families on a combined salary of up to $150,000 are eligible for the tax credit. Families with a single ‘head of household’ being paid up to $112,500 a year are also included. A head of household is an unmarried person who covers more than half their family’s living costs, and lives with them for more than half of the year.
Single parents on salaries of up to $75,000 will be paid the new credits too.
The program received funding for one year in Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package passed in March
President Joe Biden greets children as he visits the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday
Parents will get half the credit they are eligible for in 2021, and will be able to claim the rest back when completing this year’s federal tax return.
The Democrats’ proposal takes away the minimum income requirement. A parent with two children younger than 6 and no reported annual income would be eligible to receive $7,200 from the federal government per year under Biden’s plan.
Federal investments in US families have been a main talking point for Democrats and Biden officials promoting the bill.
Biden’s child tax credit boost is the same as his temporary increases under the American Rescue Plan, which was passed to help the US through the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday in Hartford, Connecticut
It became the largest child tax credit in US history when it was signed into law in March, but is only effective through 2021.
Now Democrats are hoping to make it permanent through their $3.5 trillion spending bill, which also includes funding for free community college and historic expansions to Medicare and Medicaid, among other reforms.
The bill has no Republican support and is getting pushback from moderate Democrats who think the price tag is too high.
The president’s party had been hoping to pass the measure through the reconciliation process, which would allow it to pass with a simple majority.
But with just a slim majority, Democrats – particularly in the Senate- will have to vote in lock-step to get it passed.
The American Rescue Plan, signed by Biden in March, allows child tax credits of up to $3,600 per year to be distributed in monthly payments instead of annually for each child of couples earning under $112,500
Biden said Friday that although he expects the package to shrink, “we’re going to come back and get the rest” after it’s passed.
“We’re not going to get $3.5 trillion. We’ll get less than that, but we’re gonna get it. And we’re going to come back and get the rest,” Biden said during remarks at a child care center in Connecticut.
Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to reduce the sweeping package to about $2 trillion in spending, which would be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. The proposal includes everything from free child care and community college to dental, vision and hearing aid benefits for seniors and a number of significant provisions meant to combat climate change. They’re all key items for progressives, but moderates have balked at the original $3.5 trillion price tag.
One almost certain reduction would be in the proposal for free community college.
“I doubt whether we will get the entire funding for community colleges but I´m not going to give up on community colleges as long as I´m president,” Biden said. His wife, Jill, is a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College.