AIf Democrats weren’t having enough trouble pushing a stalled social spending program forward, party lawmakers are now fighting to try to reduce the length of a child tax credit they hope to include in legislation.
Progressive Democrats said on Tuesday they would not accept a behind-the-scenes proposal to cut the length of an extended child care tax credit to just one year.
The proposal surfaced in talks in the White House between the Biden administration and Democratic negotiators looking for ways to lower the cost of the bill to around $ 2 trillion.
Progressives in the House of Representatives strongly rejected the idea, arguing that the tax credit lifted thousands of children out of poverty and must stay in place. They want to make a tax credit permanent.
“A one-year extension is a mistake,” said House Appropriations Committee chair Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut. “It is very harmful for the country, the children and the families.”
Democrats and Biden passed a one-year extension of the Child tax credit in March 2021 as part of a $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 assistance program. The credit provides families with up to $ 3,600 per year for each child, depending on their age.
The money was distributed in monthly installments of $ 250 to $ 300.
Democrats now want to make the tax credit permanent, arguing that it reduces poverty on a large scale. They want to leave it in place with no work requirement and with an income cap that would include individuals and households earning six figures.
But the tax credit is on the chopping block, or at least part of it, as Democrats look for ways to cut their massive social spending bill from an initial cost of $ 3.5 trillion to a cost much lower than $ 2 trillion.
And they may have to cut more.
Reports indicate that Senator Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat pushing to cut the cost of the bill, has informed the White House that he is prepared to agree to a spending bill costing a maximum of $ 1.75 trillion. dollars.
But Democrats don’t want to cut any of the programs and subsidies they’ve been trying to impose for many years, if not decades.
Party lawmakers and activist groups on Wednesday held a rally outside Capitol Hill with interfaith staff in Washington to advocate for their cause, arguing that it is imperative to get across the finish line to the overall spending while Democrats control both Congress and the White House.
âPlease, please don’t waste this precious moment,â DeLauro said during the rally. âIt won’t come back. “
Democrats also oppose efforts to cut other parts of the bill that would provide billions of dollars to extend Medicaid to every state and provide additional subsidies for Obamacare to help people buy health insurance.
“I am proud to be here with my colleagues, to demand that it is not just an imperative, it is a moral imperative,” said Rep. Terry Sewell, a Democrat from Alabama, speaking when rallying alongside a voter unable to afford insurance. “We want to make sure these are permanent so peopleâ¦ don’t have to struggle to figure out how they pay their medical bills.”
The interfaith group organizing the rally, which aligns with the Democrats, embarked on a 12-hour prayer vigil starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday, aimed at convincing lawmakers to pass the Bill on spending without severe cuts.
The differences remain significant, however, and despite urging Democratic leaders to produce a framework by the end of the week on Wednesday night, lawmakers had shown no tangible progress towards an agreement on what to remove. Bill.
In addition to child tax credits and health care funding, Democrats have yet to figure out how to lower the cost of a paid family and medical leave plan and have not compromised with Manchin on the green energy policies he opposes.
Manchin wants to cap the child tax credit for employees earning less than $ 60,000 and demands that he maintain a work requirement.
“We are not here,” said House Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington. âWe are in the midst of negotiations.
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Original author: Susan ferrechio
Original location: Democrats fight back against child tax credit cuts and other spending cuts