Expiration of child tax credit adds pressure to Democrats

Democrats feel a heightened sense of urgency to get it fast President BidenJoe BidenJosé Andrés to travel to Kentucky following devastating Sunday tornadoes preview: officials and experts respond to omicron; Biden administration sounds the alarm on Russia, China Biden says he will travel to storm-affected area: “We will overcome this together” MOREof the finish-line climate and social spending program, due to the looming expiration of the expanded child tax credit at the end of the year.

In the absence of congressional action, the IRS will make its last monthly child tax credit payment on December 15. Democrats see monthly payments as key to reducing child poverty and want to avoid a lapse.

The main obstacle is Sen. Joe manchinJoe ManchinMatt Taibbi: Mainstream media ‘in tune’ with Democratic Party Problem with our employment statistics Manchin faces pressure from Gillibrand, other colleagues on paid family leave MORE (DW.Va.), who has expressed reluctance to adopt the social spending package this year. Despite Manchin’s reluctance, leading Democrats insist the expanded child tax credit does not expire.

“We are not going to be late in paying. It is too important, ”said the senator. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBiden’s choice for banks watchdog withdraws after GOP accusations of communism. The Ohio Senate race is a crucial test for Democrats. (D-Ohio).

The $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that Biden enacted in March expanded the child tax credit for 2021. The expansion included an increase in the amount of credit, monthly credit prepayments, and allowing families with the lowest incomes to be eligible for the full amount of the loan. .

The Treasury Department and IRS in July began sending out monthly child tax credit advance payments of up to $ 300 for each child under age 6 and up to $ 250 for each child age 6. at 17 years old. Monthly payments, which allow families to receive funds in installments rather than a lump sum when they file their taxes, are currently scheduled to end this month.

The social spending package includes a one-year extension of extended credit. Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Ron wydenRonald (Ron) Lee Wyden On money – Inflation hits its highest level in almost 40 years (D-Ore.) Told reporters on Thursday that the IRS said Congress would have to pass the social spending program by Dec. 28 to ensure the monthly payments are made on Jan. 15.

“We have to work very hard and move fast because of some of the logistical challenges the IRS has in terms of process, and I commit to doing that,” he said. “I do my best to make sure there are no interruptions.”

Democrats see monthly child tax credit payments as an essential way to help low- and middle-income families pay for major household expenses.

“Our point of view is that the child tax credit is a really important basic support for families and that we should expand it,” said the director of the National Economic Council. Brian deeseBrian DeeseThe Memo: Inflation kicks in as Biden tries to sell economic record Graham hopes to sway Manchin against Biden plan with new CBO report Economists call on Congress to ‘swiftly’ pass large scale on climate and social policy PLUS said during Thursday’s press conference at the White House. “And we should extend it because it does what we hoped it would do, which is dramatically reduce child poverty in America, dramatically reduce poverty in America, and give families some breathing space. in a very strong but uncertain recovery. ”

Additionally, a disruption in monthly payments could pose a political risk for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

Ethan Winter, lead pollster for the Fighting Chance for Families coalition, which has worked to make the expanded child tax credit permanent, said continuing to provide tangible benefits such as the child tax credit is l ‘one of the best ways for Democrats to counter Republican messages on cultural issues. intended for parents, as on Critical Race Theory.

“If you let the benefits expire, I think it would present a political liability for the Democratic Party,” Winter said.

The House passed its version of the social spending bill last month. Majority Leader in the Senate Charles schumerChuck SchumerTrump struggles to clear GOP ground in North Carolina Senate race The coalition urges the Senate to post bills and amendments online while they are still under consideration. Some good news in the battle to rebalance the courts MORE (DN.Y.) has said repeatedly that he wants the Senate to pass a version of the bill by Christmas.

Senate Democrats use an obscure process known as budget reconciliation to pass all spending. The process, which Democrats used earlier this year to pass the coronavirus relief bill, will see the party pass the package with a simple majority in the upper house, bypassing likely Republican obstruction. Still, every Senate Democrat will need to support the legislation for it to pass, as the chamber is split equally between the two parties.

Getting all Senate Democrats to line up with the plan has been a daunting task for the party this year, as management scrambles to meet competing demands from members.

“The process there can be agonizing in terms of pace”, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard nealRichard Edmund Neal Time For Congress To Close Interest Gap GOP Fears Boomerang As Threat Of Government Shutdown Grows House Passes Giant Social Policy And Climate Action MORE (D-Mass.) Said of the Senate last week.

Manchin has repeatedly suggested that he thinks Congress should wait before voting on all spending, citing concerns about inflation. Manchin has also suggested in the past that there be lower work requirements and income limits for the expanded child tax credit.

When asked on Wednesday if he felt urgent to pass the spending program in time for the IRS to make child tax credit payments on Jan.15, Manchin said he believed everything missed payment could be caught up at a later date.

“I’ve never seen a situation where we couldn’t make up for everything you thought time would be wasted,” he told reporters.

The spending program may be Democrats’ best option to pass an expanded child tax credit extension before year-end, as lawmakers use the reconciliation process. A stand-alone bill with a temporary extension might struggle to gain enough Republican support to bypass a filibuster.

“Could you get 10 Republican votes for that?” I don’t know the answer to that, ”Sen. Tim kaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineManchin quietly discusses Senate rule changes with Republicans Liberty University professor accused of alleged sexual assault and kidnapping of Senate parliamentary student threatens Senate spending bill White House PLUS (D-Va.) Said.

No Republican in Congress voted for Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan, including the expanded benefit. The Republicans themselves expanded the child tax credit in their 2017 tax cut law, but they criticized the Democrats’ subsequent expansion, arguing Democrats removed work incentives associated with the child tax credit. child tax. Republicans have also expressed concern that the monthly payment structure will lead to an increase in improper payments and fraud.

Some Republicans have expressed interest in reaching a bipartisan agreement on the way forward for the tax credit, but said the benefit would likely be significantly different from the expansion approved under Biden earlier this year.

“Unfortunately, it went to very high income people. It was not related to work and I would prefer that we revert to the original wording, ”Sen said. Susan collinsSusan Margaret Collins Transformational Legislation Should Be Biparty Again The Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Uber – Senate Debt Limit Drama Ends; Trump’s Legal Problems Rise On The Money – Senate Risks Trump’s Wrath With Debt Ceiling Deal MORE (R-Maine).

But Democrats have also pledged to expand the current expansion to the benefit as it is, with some insisting the party use the current expansion deadline later this month as an impetus to make embrace Biden’s bigger spending plan.

“Let’s use this to finally make the decision to build back better,” Kaine said, calling the extension of the tax credit “the best deadline that could finally get us to act.”

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