Democrats sound the alarm over end of ‘catastrophe’ of child tax credit payments
- Democrats are sounding the alarm bells about passing Biden’s big bill before the end of the year or the expiration of the child tax credit.
- “It would be a tragedy if the child tax credit were to expire,” Senator Michael Bennet told Insider.
- But Joe Manchin is pouring cold water on approving the legislation by Christmas.
Democrats in Congress are sounding the alarm bells over the upcoming expiration of the increased child tax credit at the end of the month, warning of a “disaster” if there is a sudden disruption in payments in January 2022.
Their hopes of quickly adopting President Joe Biden’s $ 2 trillion climate and social spending program are met with resistance from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. The Senate’s 50 Democrats must unite and approve legislation to rid the upper house of unanimous GOP opposition.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer doubled down on passing the sprawling legislation by Christmas. But Manchin did not support any of this, while dashing Democratic hopes for swift action.
Democrats are scrambling to get monthly checks to families without interruption. “I am deeply concerned. It would be a tragedy if the child tax credit were to expire,” Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, an architect of the expansion, told Insider Wednesday.
He cited recent data showing that families are spending federal government money on rent, groceries and child care. âWe have to make sure we don’t cancel this at the start of the New Year, it will be a disaster,â Bennet said.
The urgency is also felt among the top Democrats in the House. “The House Democrats will not allow this tax credit to expire and I don’t think the Senate will either,” said Representative Hakeem Jefferies, the Third Democrat. told reporters.
The current bill provides for up to $ 300 per month per child aged 5 and under, or $ 3,600 per year. For children ages 6 to 17, families can receive $ 250 per month, or $ 3,000 per year. And that would block the ability for the vast majority of American families to receive federal money every month, whether or not they file taxes.
Still, Manchin does not seem in a rush to approve the legislation. He expressed concern about how the package could worsen inflation and push up the prices of groceries and gasoline. On Tuesday, he told the Wall Street Journal event that the threat of “the unknown we face today” is far greater than “this ambitious bill that we are considering.”
He doubled down on Wednesday, telling reporters the government had already approved $ 5.4 trillion in new federal spending since the start of the pandemic and pouring cold water on the concept of additional spending.
The Internal Revenue Service is expected to send the latest round of payments to 35 million families on Dec.15. But for the agency to distribute the payments next month without a hitch, some experts say Congress must approve the legislation by the end of the year.
“I just think if they get it right by the end of the year, the payments will be in,” Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Insider. “It’s most likely.”