- Biden supports making a temporary boost to a tax credit for parents permanent, a Democratic aide says.
- The stimulus legislation would provide up to $3,600 per child to households for one year.
- Senate Democrats are making clear they want to make this permanent, and give families the option of monthly checks.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
President Joe Biden told House Democrats on Wednesday that he supports making the temporary beefed-up child tax credit that is a part of his stimulus plan permanent, a Democratic aide briefed on the call told Insider.
The president delivered public remarks to House Democrats as part of a virtual caucus event and during a private portion of the event, he told Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington that he supports legislation to keep the expanded $3,000-per-child tax credit.
The aide spoke on condition on anonymity to share details of a private call. The Washington Post first reported the development. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It’s the first time Biden has indicated he would back an enduring extension to the expanded child tax credit, a measure included in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package recently passed by the House. The Senate is expected to start debate on the bill sometime Thursday.
The legislation would dramatically revamp the child tax credit, a major Democratic priority. The one-year provision would provide $3,600 to parents with children ages 5 and under, and distribute $3,000 to those with kids between 6 and 17 years old.
Singles earning $75,000 and under would get a full check, along with couples making up to $150,000. Similar to stimulus checks, the payments start diminishing above those income thresholds.
Households could opt for recurring checks from the federal government instead of an annual lump sum at tax time. The House bill authorized “periodic” payments for the measure to clear procedural hurdles in the Senate.
Researchers at Columbia University project that the measure could cut the child poverty rate in half and lift millions of Black and Latino children out of poverty. That has provided a boost to Democrats pressing to make it a permanent part of the nation’s social safety net.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, said on a press call Wednesday he was confident that every Democratic senator would back the push. “I can’t imagine any Democratic senator wants to see the child poverty rate double in this country,” he said.
The Democratic effort will likely spark debate on how to finance a new federal program later this year, and may trigger significant Republican opposition. The one-year expansion is estimated to cost more than $100 billion for one year, per the Joint Committee on Taxation, or above $1 trillion over a decade if it’s permanent.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, assailed it as “an administrative nightmare” in a recent interview with Insider.
It has “nothing to do with the pandemic and it is something that’s almost mechanically impossible to carry out because they want to send checks out,” Grassley said.
Still, some Republicans have supported similar initiatives, notably Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who rolled out a child benefit plan in early February that would also provide monthly checks to parents.