Democrats aren’t going to push to restart monthly checks to families outside of Biden’s big social spending bill

House Speaker Nanci Pelosi, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries Pelosi (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite); Jeffries (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
  • Democrats won’t be pushing to restart the expired expanded child tax credit program anytime soon.
  • House Democrats say they’re focusing on getting the Build Back Better plan through the Senate.
  • The package includes a one-year extension, but it’s gathering dust in the Senate.

Senior House Democrats on Tuesday indicated that they will not attempt to restart an expired stimulus program that provided up to $300 monthly checks per kid to millions of American families.

“It is my hope and expectation that we are going to be able to arrive at an agreement with the Senate, including Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, around a Build Back Better Act,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said at a weekly press conference, referring to the plan forming the centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

The sprawling $2 trillion plan, is currently gathering dust in the 50-50 Senate. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia came out against it last month — and Democrats appear no closer to getting his vote and muscling the spending plan through the upper chamber over unanimous GOP opposition. He said last week he was still pushing to impose a work requirement on the child tax credit, a move that would shut out the poorest families who don’t have taxable incomes.

The package includes a one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit, universal pre-K, federal subsidies for childcare, measures to combat climate emergency and more. Democrats want to finance it with new taxes on rich Americans and large corporations.

Biden is scheduled to deliver his state of the union address on March 1, setting up what could be another deadline for Democrats to clear the plan. But they’re uncertain whether they’ll be able to strike a deal on the package by then.

“I just don’t know,” Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut told Insider, adding the last several months gave him little confidence to predict the bill’s overall trajectory.

Murphy added he had spoken to Manchin and the conservative West Virginia had Democrat had personally expressed a “willingness” to continue negotiating on the package.

In the wake of Manchin’s opposition, Senate Democrats are doubling down on passing a set of voting rights and election administration bills instead by January 17. But they’re poised to face a fresh setback because Manchin and Sinema object to blowing a hole in the 60-vote threshold known as the filibuster, something that requires unanimity among all Senate Democrats.