- Sen. Joe Manchin wants the child tax credit to cap family income around $US60,000 ($AU80,890), sources told Axios.
- Manchin supported the credit under the American Rescue Plan in March with no work requirement.
- The first child tax credit payment lifted around 3 million children out of poverty, one study found.
As Democrats continue to negotiate over their marquee social spending package, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is digging in on child tax credit, demanding a work requirement and a family income cap around $US60,000 ($AU80,890), sources told Axios.
The credit was initially expanded for a year under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan in March, with Manchin’s support and no work requirement. Under the measure, most families are eligible for monthly payments of $US250 ($AU337) or $US300 ($AU404) per child. Single-parent and two-parent families who made up to $US112,500 ($AU151,669) and $US150,000 ($AU202,226) respectively were eligible for the full credit under the plan.
Manchin’s income cap proposal would cut the number of families who qualify for the federal cash, fulfilling one of his key priorities to restrict eligibility for fresh government assistance to lower-income households.
A strong majority of Congressional Democrats are lobbying to make the child tax credit permanent as it helps millions of families pay for basic necessities like housing, health care, child care, and education.
A Columbia University study from August found that, under the American Rescue Plan, the first child tax credit payment in July lifted approximately 3 million children out of poverty.
-Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) August 14, 2021
Still, Manchin argues that without a work requirement attached to the credit, our society and economy will develop an “entitlement mentality.” In September, he told CNN’s Dana Bash that tying the credit to parents with jobs would ensure assistance was provided to “the right people.”
An analysis released last week by researchers from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, Barnard College, and Bocconi University found the credit had “statistically insignificant impacts” on job seeking and workforce participation.
The child tax credit program is just one of the policies facing cuts in the proposed $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion social spending bill as Democrats in Congress try to win over centrists like Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported.
House Democrats are eyeing renewing the revamped child tax credit until 2025, maintaining the bulked-up benefit for four more years and locking in the credit’s ability to be issued as monthly payments to the vast majority of American families. Previously, the credit’s structure barred families with low or no tax bills from tapping into the full amount.
It has a price tag of $US556 ($AU750) billion, or a quarter of a potentially $US2 ($AU3) trillion sum that Biden pitched as a compromise last month. To cut corners and save on cost, Senate Democrats are weighing a shorter extension until 2024.