There’s a move by senior Democrats to expand the child tax credit, as proposed by President Joe Biden, and send qualifying Americans “recurring monthly payments” that could be worth up to $300 a month depending on the child’s age, according to The Washington Post.
According to The Post, the IRS would send Americans the $300 monthly checks for every child under age 6, and $250 monthly checks for every child age 6 to 17. That could amount to $3,600 for a year for each younger child, and $3,000 per year for each older child. Those are the amounts under just one draft of the proposal, The Post reported.
If a person had, say, three children younger than 6, the payments could amount to $10,800 a year. Biden included the plan to expand the child tax credit in his stimulus proposal. There has already been Republican opposition to the idea, however, and it still needs to make it through hurdles in Congress.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Recurring Checks for Children Might Be Permanent Under the Proposal
President Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress working on the proposal are hoping the benefits would become a “permanent government program,” The Post reported, although right now it would just be for one year.
The cost? A $120 billion increase in the federal deficit, according to The Post.
Although the proposed payments are actually a tax credit, people would get the full amount even if they owe more than the amount received to the government, The Post reported.
According to HuffPost, Biden wants “to expand the child tax credit, which currently pays working parents as much as $1,400 per child annually through refunds at tax time. Biden’s plan would boost the refunds to up to $3,600 per child and make it easier for lower-income families to get the full amount.”
The Plan Would Have to Pass Hurdles in the Senate
There’s no guarantee the plan will pass, because the Senate is split 50-50. Although Vice President Kamala Harris would be the tiebreaking vote, to pass another stimulus plan, 60 votes would be needed, according to ABC 27, and that means Republican votes would be needed.
According to HuffPost, some Republican senators might be open to the idea.
“A larger child tax credit is an excellent idea,” Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) told HuffPost. “It will alleviate child poverty and continue to lower the parent tax penalty.”
According to HuffPost, there have been past proposals to expand the credit and pay it out via monthly checks.
The People’s Policy Project, described by HuffPost as a “left-wing think tank,” has argued that “the US government should eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) and replace them with a monthly $374 check paid out to every child in the country.”
An article on that website stated, “This move would radically simplify the US child benefit system, nearly wipe out child poverty in the country, and provide income-smoothing to all families whenever they have children.” The article notes, “The $374 figure is chosen because, under the federal poverty guidelines, this is the amount it would take to ensure that no family ever slips into poverty solely because they added a child to their family.”
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