If lawmakers have their way, American families may soon see a monthly check from Uncle Sam again. There are talks of bringing back the monthly payments from 2021 that offered parents and caregivers an advance on their annual child tax credit. The proposed plan has support from both sides of the aisle, offering a glimmer of light for those struggling to make ends meet. Record inflation continues to push the cost of everything from diapers to sneakers further out of reach for cash-strapped families.
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Unlike Last Time, the Idea Has Bipartisan Support
According to USA Today, the new plan has interest from Democratic and Republican lawmakers. Democratic Representatives Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Suzan DelBene of Washington, and Ritchie Torres of New York introduced the proposed legislation in June.
210 cosponsors joined the three primary cosponsors. They garnered enthusiastic support from Republican Representative Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, who plans to use his House Ways and Means Committee seat to help push it through.
“This issue is not dead,” he told Punchbowl News. “It’s going to be a live, open issue for this entire cycle, because you have people like me on the committee who actually do support it.”
It also has the support of senators like Republican J.D. Vance of Ohio, who told the outlet this was “one of the few issues of tax policy where you have some bipartisan agreement.”
J.D. wasn’t the only senator with an interest in the bill. A second bill has been circulating in the Senate. It has already lined up 40 cosponsors, offering further hope that the legislation could become law.
It Will Look Different This Time Around
According to a fact sheet from Representative DeLauro’s office, if the tax plan makes it through the House and Senate and finds its way to the president’s desk, it’s unlikely to be a replica of the 2021 plan. The proposed plan does have a few differences. This is likely why lawmakers on both sides feel a bit better about the proposal.
Initially, the plan had an earnings cap that prevented families in high-income brackets from taking advantage. Now, it seems like the government would scrap the income calculation entirely, offering the payment to all Americans.
There is also a proposed “baby bonus” that will offer families an additional $2,000 the month they welcome a new baby. This can help offset initial costs associated with giving birth, like medical bills, time off from work, and daycare.
That being said, there will be some similarities. Your child’s age will still factor into how much you receive each month. Children 6 and under will get $300 a month, and those 7 and up will receive just $250 a month.
It’s Not a Done Deal
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 2.9 million children came out of poverty in 2021 when the original plan was rolled out.1 While millions could benefit from bringing the child tax credits back, it doesn’t have all the support it needs to make it to the president.
Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina is among Republicans who aren’t yet on board with the idea. He said it was acceptable during the pandemic, but told Punchbowl News that “those times are gone.”
Additionally, the Democrats must be willing to make certain concessions to get enough support to see the idea pass. Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska says his fellow lawmakers pursue that. “I think Republicans want to consider it as part of a compromise for the Democrats,” he told Punchbowl News in June. “We know that that’s like one of their top issues. This may be a bargaining chip that we can use.”
We know many families benefited from the 2021 plan. With the ever-changing economy, we’re sure plenty more could benefit now. Hopefully, politicians on both sides can come together and find a solution that will work for American families.