Child Poverty Programs Face Narrow Path in Congress

CHILD POVERTY PROGRAMS are at the center of Democrats’ work on a massive reconciliation plan, but most party proposals, even from committee chairs and party leaders, are likely to be left on the cutting room floor. With the pressure to keep the overall package price below $ 3 trillion, or even less, the only train leaving the station could be an extension of Biden’s expanded child tax credit, and even that could be just that. temporary to reduce costs.

Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden and Bob Casey want to build on the expanded CLC, which takes effect next week, by tackling another major agenda: children’s savings accounts. Accounts, for children whose parents or guardians earn less than $ 100,000 per year, would be seeded each year with $ 500 in government contributions as long as parents are still eligible, according to legislation introduced last week. The proposal is similar to that presented by Sens. Cory Booker and Tammy Baldwin, who would provide a savings account of $ 1,000 at the time of the birth of a child, followed by annual deposits of up to $ 2,000, invested in long-term treasury bills. Booker-Baldwin’s “baby bond” plan would also have a slightly lower qualifying threshold than the other Democratic plan.

While some Republicans, like Utah Senator Mitt Romney, have come up with their own versions of tax credits for families with children, Democrats don’t expect their support for a broad reconciliation agenda that includes them. . Booker and Baldwin’s plan has 15 co-sponsors, all of them Democrats, while the Schumer-Wyden-Casey plan also has no announced Republican backing.

Biden’s current top priority is a $ 450 billion extension of the CTC through 2025 – even a permanent extension of this program is seen as a bridge too far, as it could crowd out other key democratic priorities for reconciliation, such as climate measures and care for the elderly, among others. Democrats hold more than 35 events across the country draw attention to the CTC and lobby to make it permanent. Among the attendees is Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, according to event organizers.

A temporary renewal of the CTC’s expansion until 2025 could set up a tax fight for the 2024 presidential campaign for the ages: 2025 is also the expiration date of reduced personal income tax rates of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017.

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