Congressional Democrats are proposing an addition to President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that would send up to $3,600 per child to American families this year.
The proposal, introduced by Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), would expand the child tax credit to up to $3,600 for every child under six years old, and $3,000 for every child aged six to 17. The IRS would distribute the money in monthly paychecks over the course of a year, starting this July, if the proposal is passed as part of Biden’s pandemic relief measure.
The value of the paycheck would be adjusted based on income, providing less for individuals who earn more than $75,000 each year or couples earning over $150,000.
Neal, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement on Monday: “The pandemic is driving families deeper and deeper into poverty, and it’s devastating. This money is going to be the difference in a roof over someone’s head or food on their table. This is how the tax code is supposed to work for those who need it most.”
Under the current tax code, families are able to claim up to $2,000 in tax credits per child under the age of 17, with a $2,500 minimum income requirement, a phase-in rate, and a maximum refundability of $1,400. Biden’s original relief plan would expand the tax credit to $3,000 for every child, allow 17-year-old children to qualify for the credit, and make the credit fully refundable regardless of income.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said Biden supported the proposal and would make child tax credits a “central priority” of his pandemic relief package.
“The president supports the proposal that Rep. Neal and others have put forward to ensure that there is money in the package that helps bring relief to families in the form of a child tax credit,” she said. “It’s certainly something that he would support.”
Earlier this month, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) introduced a similar proposal, which would create an allowance of $4,200 for every child under age six, and $3,000 for every child aged six to 17.
Under Romney’s plan, the monthly payments would be administered through the Social Security Administration. Any child with a Social Security Number would be eligible, and it is limited to a maximum allowance of $15,000 per year or $1,250 per month.
His plan would also eliminate a number of social benefit programs, including the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which provides working parents a tax credit of up to 35 percent of what they spend on childcare.