Millions of families this weekend will stop receiving monthly child tax payments for the first time in months after Congress failed to pass an extension of the expanded credit.
As lawmakers struggle to revive talks to renew the expansion, more than 30 million families that have been receiving the monthly payments since July will not see another round on Saturday.
Democrats temporarily expanded the child tax credit in early 2021 as part of a sweeping coronavirus relief package enacted under President BidenJoe BidenGallego on Jan. 6 rioters: ‘F— them’ Psaki: Why is GOP afraid of presidential debates? Biden calls on employers to mandate vaccines despite Supreme Court ruling MORE. Under the expansion, Democrats removed the work requirement for credit, increased the maximum credit amount, and gave credit recipients the option to access half the credit amount via monthly payments. Advocates and Democrats have called for permanent expansion of the credit. They claim it is a significant contributor to child poverty, allowing the lowest-income households to access the entire amount as well as providing relief to middle-income families.
“People are spending it on bills, food, school supplies and for debt repayments. This is a sign of the true value of the expanded credit, particularly in the middle of a crisis,” Ahmad Ali, the press secretary for Data for Progress, said to The Hill. “It’s about making things a little bit easier to raise a family to stay afloat in the middle of all this.”
Democratic leadership aimed to pass the extension as part of a larger social and climate spending plan known as the Build Back Better Act, a cornerstone of Biden’s economic agenda.
But those efforts hit a roadblock amid opposition from Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin says he won’t vote to ‘eliminate or weaken the filibuster’ Democracy is on life support — and the GOP wants to pull the plug Biden: ‘I don’t know whether we can get this done’ MORE (D-W.Va.), a key holdout who has expressed concerns about the expanded credit in addition to the overall package in its current form. Manchin cited rising inflation among his reasons.
” I cannot vote to continue this piece of legislation. I can’t. I tried everything. Manchin stated on Fox News Sunday in December that “I can’t get there.” “This legislation is rejected. “
Democrats have expressed hope that the tax credit and larger talks can be revived and expect negotiations to pick up in the weeks ahead. Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden’s desperate pitch to keep minority voters Business executives urge Senate to bypass filibuster to pass voting rights Former colleagues honor Reid in ceremony at Capitol MORE (D-N.Y.) also expressed hope earlier this month that the bill would eventually be brought to the floor.
Democrats are using a process known as budget reconciliation to pass the bill, which will allow them to approve the package in the 50-50 Senate with a simple majority. To pass the plan, Democrats must have all their party’s senators backing it Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthOn The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Democrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Democrats confront rising retirements as difficult year ends MORE (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, told reporters earlier this week that he is hopeful the expanded child tax credit is one of the major policies that will be able to remain in the final version of the plan. I believe the child tax credit prior to the midterms is the only element of BBB people would feel. The rest of it, they won’t feel,” Yarmuth said, though he acknowledged that Manchin, who has criticized the benefit’s structure, is “not big on that one.”
While most Republicans are opposed to the design of the expanded child tax credit Biden signed off on last year, some have signaled interest in reaching a bipartisan agreement on a path forward for the tax credit. They have said that the benefit will likely be different from the Democratic-backed expansion.
“Unfortunately, that went to very high-income people. It was unlinked to work, and I would prefer we went back to the original formulation,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Biden’s FDA nominee advances through key Senate committee Like it or not, all roads forward for Democrats go through Joe Manchin MORE (R-Maine) previously told The Hill. Experts and advocates say that returning to the previous credit versions, which had work requirements and credit that wasn’t fully refundable, would be detrimental for those most in need.
” “It’s about cutting deep poverty rates, and those people, because they have no earnings or very limited earnings. It’s basically about cutting the child tax credit’s benefits before it became fully-refundable.” Stephen Nunez, a researcher at the Jain Family Institute who oversees guaranteed income policy research, stated that the credit’s return to previous versions, which had work requirements, would hurt the most vulnerable.
Nunez added that it’s “very clear that the fully refundable benefit has a disproportionate impact on African American child poverty and deep poverty and Hispanic poverty and deep p