West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin suggested establishing a work requirement for the Biden Child Tax Credit.
“Don’t you think, if we’re going to help the children, that people should make an effort? he told CNN.
The child tax credit currently provides up to $ 300 per month for each child 5 years of age or under, or $ 3,600 per year.
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West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin on Sunday raised the possibility of establishing a work requirement for people to receive the Child Tax Credit, a program that was expanded earlier this year by President Joe Biden and the Democrats in the stimulus bill.
“I support child tax credits. I certainly try to help children,” Manchin, an influential moderate Democrat, said Sunday, although he was hesitant whether the credit should become permanent when it was first released. asked Sunday by CNN’s Dana Bash about “The State of the Union.”
“You want to help the kids and the parents who are basically looking after those kids,” Manchin said. “There is no requirement for work. There is no requirement for education for better skills. Don’t you think, if we want to help children, that people should make an effort?”
Manchin also doubled down on his opposition to a $ 3.5 trillion price tag for a social spending package Democrats want to pass this month, and insisted the amount had to be cut in half to get his vote. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, rejected a potential $ 1.5 trillion plan in a separate CNN interview.
In addition to a renewal of family allowances, the plan is poised to include measures such as universal kindergarten, tuition-free community college, paid family and medical leave and many other Democratic priorities. Democrats are maneuvering through the reconciliation process that requires only a simple majority vote, allowing them to bypass GOP opposition.
Manchin’s comments highlight the bargain Democrats have yet to make with each other as they strive to pass a grand economic plan to strengthen the nation’s social safety net based on the party line. But Democrats have a very slim margin for error given that they can only afford three defections in the House and none in the Senate.
Currently, the Child Tax Credit offers up to $ 300 per month for each child 5 years of age or under, or $ 3,600 per year. For children ages 6 to 17, families can receive up to $ 250 per month, or $ 3,000 per year.
The Democratic March stimulus bill, intended to help prop up the economy against damage from the coronavirus pandemic, turned credit into a one-year cash benefit issued in the form of monthly checks to the vast majority of families . People earning $ 75,000 or less are eligible for full payments. Couples who together earn $ 150,000 or less are also eligible for the full amount.
Early research indicates that the first month of payments lifted three million children out of poverty and helped feed two million children in July. Almost 70% of families spent the money or used it to pay off their debts. Some experts say that conditioning federal aid to work could undermine the Democratic goal of reducing child poverty.
“We have real evidence from the past two months that child hunger has decreased, this is a clear result of the credit being paid in advance to low-income families,” Seth Hanlon, tax expert at the left-wing Center for American Progress, Insider said.
Hanlon also noted existing research which indicates that programs like the Child Tax Credit improve long-term health, education and financial outcomes. “There are such overwhelming reasons not to base child support on their parents’ income,” he said.
As Insider previously reported, House Democrats and Senate Democrats could clash over extending the tax credit. House Democrats are pushing forward a plan to renew the revamped child tax credit until 2025, while Senate Democrats are considering a shorter credit extension.
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