Manchin’s $ 60,000 income threshold for Biden’s expanded child tax credit could cause 37.4 million children to lose federal aid

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Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va) on Capitol Hill. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

  • Manchin reportedly proposed an income cap of $ 60,000 for families to get the Biden Child Tax Credit.

  • New analysis says 37.4 million kids could get less federal aid if Democrats passed it to win his vote.

  • This represents 60% of eligible children nationwide facing a sharp cut in government assistance, many of them in West Virginia.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is would have sought a $ 60,000 income limit for families to get the expanded child tax credit, a key part of President Joe Biden’s national agenda on the chopping block as negotiations over the scope of the spending bill drag on.

For more than a month, the West Virginia Democrat has been pushing for a work requirement and ensure that only households with the lowest incomes can receive new government assistance. He was the only lawmaker in either chamber to promote benefit limits on the objection from most Democrats, who prefer to block almost any family’s ability to collect up to $ 300 in monthly child tax credit payments, even if they don’t pay taxes.

But Manchin holds an outsized hold in the 50-50 Senate, as Democrats can spare no votes in their efforts to turn Biden’s economic plans into law in the face of the United Republican opposition. Details are still scarce on Manchin’s proposal, but experts are starting to model how it might play out.

A new analysis by Robert Orr and Samuel Hammond of the Niskanen Center has indicated that 37.4 million children could lose federal aid if Democrats adopt Manchin’s $ 60,000 income cap. with significant losses fall on parents who do not work disabled, students or grandparents. The estimate includes 189,000 children in West Virginia, a reduction of 58% in the home state of Manchin.

Manchin’s approach would amount to a sharp cut in government assistance for 60% of children now receiving the revamped child tax credit. Biden and others are touting it as a federal move helping stabilize people’s day-to-day finances, allowing them to pay bills, put food on the table, and cope with income shocks.

This estimated reduction in coverage below the income cap assumes a sharp cut where families earning over $ 60,000 would receive nothing from the extended CTC. Niskanen’s estimates also do not include the potential effects of a work requirement, meaning the number of children losing benefits could be even higher.

Hammond, director of welfare policy at the Niskanen Center, called it a “big step backwards” for efforts to reduce child poverty in the United States under the welfare legislation that Democrats continue to gather.

“What Manchin is proposing will deal a blow to rural economies like that of West Virginia,” he said in an interview, adding that it “cuts the value of credit by at least half and likely cuts the number. of children benefiting from the credit of well over half. “

Many affected children would likely get at least part of an underlying $ 2,000 tax credit increased under President Donald Trump. But Hammond argued that the Manchin proposal would open the child tax credit to political attack if it was seen as a social program reserved for the poorest Americans, stigmatizing its beneficiaries and reducing its chances of success.

The West Virginia Democrat called for a $ 1.5 trillion in social spending, a sum much less than the $ 3.5 trillion what progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont want. Manchin focused on the child tax credit among other proposed measures, arguing that it could discourage low-income Americans from working.

There is little research so far to support this. A study published last week from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University indicated the measure had “insignificant” impacts on employment after evaluating the first two rounds of payments.

Democrats balk at Manchin’s income cap. “I know Joe Manchin cares about the parents and children of his condition,” Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said in a statement to Insider. “He doesn’t want us to see working families struggling to stay in the middle class or children living in poverty.”

Brown noted Manchin had co-sponsored a bill in 2019, this would expand the scope of the credit to families with little or no income tax. “I know we’re going to have something to cross the finish line that will allow parents to keep up with the cost of living and lift the kids of West Virginia and Ohio and the rest of the country out of poverty.” , did he declare.

Many House Democrats are also unstable, especially the centrist-leaning NDP coalition chaired by Representative Suzan DelBene from Washington.

“To keep pushing the president’s agenda forward, the New Democrats are focused on doing a few things better for longer in order to deliver tangible and immediate results for Americans,” she said in a statement Monday. “The New Democrats would be seriously concerned about any changes that undermine the success of this historic opportunity for families.”

Manchin, as well as Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have not budged from their demands for a leaner bill. Whether their frugal attitudes extend to child benefits can make all the difference between millions of children who continue to rely on a constant flow of aid or who are left behind.

Read the original article on Business intern


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