The White House says no to minting a $1 trillion coin to sidestep McConnell and ease debt ceiling standoff in Congress

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on his plan to stop the spread of the Delta variant and boost COVID-19 vaccinations, in the State Dining Room of the White House complex on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • The White House rejected the idea of minting a coin to circumvent Congress and avoid a default if necessary.
  • “There is only one viable option to deal with the debt limit: Congress needs to increase or suspend it,” a White House spokesman said.
  • Experts say the Treasury Department has the ability to mint a coin of any denomination, and theoretically use it to avert default.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The White House on Monday again ruled out minting a “trillion-dollar coin” to sidestep GOP refusals to aid Democrats on raising the debt ceiling, as the standoff in Congress over who bears responsibility for paying America’s bills appeared to worsen with no resolution in sight.

“There is only one viable option to deal with the debt limit: Congress needs to increase or suspend it, as it has done approximately 80 times, including three times during the last Administration,” White House spokesperson Mike Gwin said in a statement to Insider.

Politico first reported the Biden administration rejecting the step.

It closes off one avenue for the White House to defuse the tension as lawmakers barreled towards a potentially devastating default. Experts say the Treasury Department has the ability to mint a coin of any denomination, which could theoretically be applied here to avert a political showdown ending in default.

Congressional Republicans, spearheaded by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are digging in on their rejection to renew the US’s ability to continue paying its bills, known as the debt ceiling.

Republicans argue it’s up to Democratic lawmakers to raise it to cover their planned $3.5 trillion social spending plan, along with the $1.9 trillion stimulus law from earlier in the year. Democrats are rebuffing that, entrenched in their belief that Republicans shouldn’t shirk from their responsibility.

Lifting the nation’s borrowing cap allows the US to pay its bills for past spending and does not grow the national debt.

Republicans raised or suspended the debt ceiling three times during the Trump administration. The national debt grew by $7.8 trillion as both parties struck budget deals adding to domestic and defense spending, and stepped in with emergency aid last year when the pandemic slammed into the economy. Republicans under President Donald Trump approved a tax cut that grew the national debt by $2 trillion.

The Treasury Department is conserving cash as part of a set of “extraordinary measures” aimed at keeping the US afloat for a limited time. But experts say the agency is about to exhaust its abilities, setting the stage for a default that could cause financial chaos and even spark a recession.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen implored Congress in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Sunday to take action on the debt ceiling. She warned a default could cause up to 50 million seniors to face an abrupt halt to Social Security checks, missed paychecks for US troops, and delays in monthly child tax credit checks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday in a letter to Democrats they’re seeking to enlist GOP lawmakers. That could potentially be in a short-term government funding bill to avert a shutdown after September 30. “When we take up the debt limit this month, we expect it to be bipartisan once more,” she said.

Still, senior Democrats aren’t ruling out raising it on their own in a party-line vote using the reconciliation process, the same route being employed for their social spending plan. “I’m not fine with that but if that’s what it takes, that’s what it will take,” House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn said in a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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White House warns states of potential big cuts to Medicaid, school lunch and disaster relief programs if the US government defaults on its debt

mcconnell biden
Mitch McConnell; Joe Biden

  • The White House sent a memo to state and local governments warning of potential cuts to federal programs if Congress fails to lift debt ceiling.
  • Measures like Medicaid and free school lunches could be affected, it said.
  • The memo warned of a possible recession as Republicans show no sign of budging on raising debt ceiling.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The White House is warning state and local governments of substantial cuts to federally funded measures such as Medicaid, school lunch, and disaster relief programs if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

In a new memo sent to state and local governments on Friday and obtained by Insider, the Biden administration laid out how a potential US default would ripple through at the state and local level. Programs that could face major reductions in federal aid include Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, both measures that provide free health insurance to tens of millions of low-income Americans.

It also warned of cuts to federally funded school lunch programs that provide free or reduced-cost meals to nearly 30 million children and halt money for disaster relief. That could hinder aid efforts in the wake of wildfires that scorched parts of the western US and Hurricane Ida slamming into the South.

“Hitting the debt ceiling could cause a recession,” the memo said. “Economic growth would falter, unemployment would rise, and the labor market could lose millions of jobs.”

Put simply, the debt ceiling caps how much the government can borrow. While the government raises cash through taxes, it borrows to pay off past spending. Yet in recent years, lifting the limit has become just as much a political battle as it is a housekeeping item.

President Joe Biden is urging Republicans to get on board with a debt ceiling increase, as they did three times under the Trump administration. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans won’t help Democrats raise the debt limit, arguing they’re responsible for it to cover spending from their $3.5 trillion social spending plan. He told Punchbowl News this week that he wasn’t “bluffing.”

That hasn’t impeded the Biden administration and Democrats from trying to ramp up pressure on Republicans, warning of economic calamity if the US is unable to pay off its debt. “The president wants to maintain the full faith and credit of the United States,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday. “Our view continues to be: this should be done in a bipartisan way and there should be a bipartisan path forward.”

A debt-ceiling recession would come as the US recovery is already faltering. The unemployment rate hasn’t yet reached its pre-pandemic lows, and more than 8 million Americans remain jobless. Supply-chain bottlenecks and shortages have lifted inflation to decade highs. Also, as Delta cases soar higher, banks have lowered their forecasts for economic growth. Peak rebound has come and gone, and crashing into the debt limit would reverse more than a year of recovery progress.

The “obvious solution” would be to erase the limit indefinitely, David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, said in a Monday note. There’s little evidence the ceiling did much to slow the growth of the government’s debt pile, and battles over raising the limit shift focus away from discussions on taxes and spending programs, he added.

Each Congress has been “just a little more reckless and irresponsible than the last” with the debt limit, and the current legislative body is dangerously close to letting the country default, Kelly said.

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One chart shows how the Democratic tax plan helps most Americans a lot more than the Trump cuts

Trump Biden
  • Most Americans would get a tax cut under the Democratic plan.
  • Those earning $30,000 or less annually come out much further ahead compared to the 2017 Trump tax law.
  • Lower-earning Americans are poised to get a big boost from the child tax credit if its renewed.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democrats are still drafting their $3.5 trillion social spending legislation, but one thing is apparent: Compared to the 2017 Republican tax law, the House Democrats’ plan packs a bigger punch in its tax cuts for average Americans – particularly those earning $30,000 and under annually.

House Democrats have wrapped up efforts to turn President Joe Biden’s economic priorities into a $3.5 trillion spending package to overhaul childcare, education, and healthcare. It includes tax increases for wealthy Americans and large firms. However, it does scale back some of the hikes Biden sought.

All income groups earning below $200,000 a year would see a tax cut in the plan put forward by Democrats on the House Ways and Means panel, per an analysis released Wednesday from Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper. By contrast, the 2017 Republican tax law gave wealthier Americans a more sizable cut compared to those on lower-income households, as illustrated in the chart below.

The trend shows “a pretty stark comparison between the Ways and Means package and the 2017 tax law. That reflects pretty different priorities,” Samantha Jacoby, a tax expert at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Insider.

Most Americans pulled in $50,000 and under in 2018, according to the latest data from the IRS, and they’re in line for a tax reduction. The size of the tax cuts gradually increases among lower-earning households.

“The Ways and Means package is prioritizing tax cuts for low and moderate-income people,” she said, adding that much of the tax benefits of President Donald Trump’s tax law skewed toward higher-earning Americans.

The analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation found the average tax rate would climb 0.2% for those earning between $200,000 and $500,000 in the House Democratic plan. Then it would rise by 1.6% for those making between $500,000 and $1 million. After that, the tax rate shoots up 10.7% for households earning above $1 million.

The 2017 Republican tax law slashed the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% while setting temporary benefits for individuals. The trend is reversed from the Democratic package: Income groups starting at $50,000 and above saw the size of their tax cuts increase, reflecting a GOP view that tax cuts for the rich provides a boost to the economy.

In the Democratic plan, lower-income Americans earning $20,000 and less would be among those getting the biggest tax cut – those earning between $10,000 and $20,000 would see their tax rates drop by roughly 10%. It’s nearly doubled for those making below $10,000.

Jacoby said that is likely largely due to the expanded child tax credit, which delivers monthly payments to families up to $300 per child regardless of whether they owe taxes or not.

Biden leaned into how his economic plan concentrates tax benefits onto average Americans during a speech on Thursday. “My plan benefits ordinary Americans, not those at the top who don’t need the help,” he said from the White House. “It’s a historic middle-class tax cut.”

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Biden calls out US billionaire wealth surging $1.8 trillion during the pandemic: ‘It’s simply not fair’

joe biden
President Joe Biden.

  • In a speech, Biden tore into surging wealth among billionaires during the pandemic.
  • He said “it’s simply not fair” how wealthy Americans manage to evade taxes.
  • Fears about inequality in the US mounted during the pandemic as millions of Americans were jobless while stocks soared.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden slammed the surging amount of wealth held by American billionaires on Thursday as he made a renewed case to Congress to pass a $3.5 trillion social spending package containing the bulk of his economic priorities.

Biden delivered a 20-minute speech in which he condemned the widening inequality between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else.

“Billionaires have seen their wealth go up by $1.8 trillion,” he said, referring to a recent report from Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies. “It’s simply not fair.”

He pressed lawmakers to include priorities like the expanded child tax credit, affordable childcare, and tuition-free community college in the bill Democrats are drafting to cut costs for families. He touted the provisions as a way to tilt the economic scales towards middle-class Americans after four decades of safety net cuts and tax cuts centered on wealthier Americans.

He also cited his proposal to beef up IRS enforcement, and his own Treasury Department’s estimate that the wealthiest 1% of Americans dodge over $160 billion in taxes that they legally owe every year.

“I believe we’re at an inflection point in this country – one of those moments where the decisions we’re about to make can literally change the trajectory of our nation for years and possibly decades to come,” Biden said.

Biden’s speech comes a day after he met with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a pair of moderates demanding cuts to the planned spending. The remarks suggest curbing inequality remains a focus for Biden as Congressional Democrats labor to approve the legislation later this month with a party-line majority vote using the reconciliation process, affording them a path to circumvent Republicans.

“I’m not out to punish anyone, I’m a capitalist,” Biden said, before repeatedly saying he wants the wealthy to pay “their fair share.”

Fears about inequality in the US mounted during the pandemic as millions of Americans remained jobless while the stock market surged ahead. The S&P 500 has locked in at least 50 record highs this year, according to Marketwatch.

While they disagree on the size of the tax hikes, many Democrats say they intend to carry them out for large firms and rich Americans to finance their plans to strengthen the safety net for families.

“There’s no way to right the American economic ship if major corporations are paying nothing in taxes and plumbers in my state are paying a bigger percentage of income taxes than the bankers,” Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut recently told Insider. “From a moral and economic standpoint, it’s the right thing to do to ask corporations, millionaires, and billionaires to do more. It’s wildly politically popular.”

Republicans have lined up in opposition to the plan, arguing the tax hikes would cost jobs and wreck the economic recovery. They’re also opposed to undoing the 2017 GOP tax law, which largely slashed corporate taxes. Biden took an opportunity in the speech to rebuke his critics.

“We can build an economy that gives people a fair shot this time,” he said. “We can restore some sanity and fairness in our tax code. We can make investments that are long overdue in this nation.”

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Psaki rejects GOP calls for Gen. Mark Milley’s dismissal, saying ‘many of them were silent’ as Trump ‘fomented an insurrection’

jen psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021.

  • The White House defended Gen. Mark Milley as he’s faces criticism from Republicans for reports of his actions during the Trump administration’s last days.
  • Biden has “has complete confidence in Chairman Milley.”
  • A new report details that Milley spoke with a Chinese official without Trump’s knowledge, and potentially overstepped his role.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday defended US Gen. Mark Milley, who’s facing criticism for potentially overstepping his role as the top military advisor to then-President Donald Trump.

“I can’t speak to the former president’s experience with him or the former president’s views of him,” Psaki told reporters during a press briefing. “But this president, this current president, who follows the Constitution, who’s not fomenting an insurrection, who follows the rule of law, has complete confidence in Chairman Milley.”

The comments come after an excerpt of a forthcoming book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa published on Tuesday reported new details about Milley’s alleged conduct under Trump in the final months of his presidency.

Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was “certain” that Trump suffered a mental decline after his 2020 election loss and feared that he may “go rogue,” the authors wrote.

Days after the Capitol riot on January 6, Milley grew so concerned about what Trump may do that he privately called his Chinese counterpart twice to assure him that the US had no plans to strike China. The top general also spoke with senior US military officials for them to vow not to carry out orders from anyone without his involvement, according to the book.

The role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff advises the president and defense secretary but is not part of the chain of command for operational decisions like the launching of nuclear weapons.

A spokesperson for Milley on Wednesday confirmed the general’s calls with the Chinese official and said the move was “to maintain strategic stability.”

In light of the book’s reporting, Trump, along with a growing number of congressional Republicans, have accused Milley of treason.

Milley “working to subvert the military chain of command and collude with China is exactly what we do not accept from military leaders in our country,” Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening. “He should be court martialed if true.”

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida called for Milley’s firing in a letter to the White House on Tuesday. Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas tweeted that Milley should resign.

Psaki on Wednesday slammed the GOP members attacking Milley, saying “many of them were silent” while Trump had “fomented an insurrection.”

Biden is not “looking for the guidance” from those Republicans to make decisions, Psaki added.

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Mitch McConnell warns that Republicans won’t back down from vow to force Democrats to raise debt ceiling alone: ‘Do you guys think I’m bluffing?’

Mitch McConnell Senate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

  • McConnell appears more determined than ever to resist efforts to raise the debt ceiling with Democrats.
  • “It’s hard being in the majority. [Democrats] are the ones who will raise the debt limit,” he told Punchbowl News.
  • It threatens to deepen a perilous showdown between Democrats and Republicans that could derail the economic recovery.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appears more determined than ever to hold the Republican line from breaking on the debt ceiling.

In an interview with Punchbowl News, the Kentucky Republican fired a warning shot to Democrats as he dug in further on a view he’s publicly expressed since late July.

“It’s their obligation. They should step up. It’s hard being in the majority. They are the ones who will raise the debt limit,” he said, adding, “Do you guys think I’m bluffing?”

McConnell insisted that the US must never default on its debt payments and pointed back to his previous support of raising the ceiling to cover spending that Congressional Republicans and Democrats had struck deals on. He said that wasn’t the case this year as Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus law along party-lines. They’re also drafting another spending package aimed at shoring up the social safety net.

“So the only issue is, whose responsibility is it to do it? A Democratic president, a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate,” he told Punchbowl News.

McConnell’s warning threatens to amplify a perilous showdown between Republicans and Democrats on renewing the nation’s ability to pay off its bills, known as the debt ceiling. The Treasury Department is making emergency cash payments to keep federal operations running, buying lawmakers some extra time.

But if Congress fails to agree on renewing the debt ceiling on time, experts say that could rattle financial markets and derail the economic recovery since the US’s ability to make payments on its $28 trillion national debt would be halted.

Democrats are pressuring Republicans to raise the debt ceiling alongside them, as GOP lawmakers did three times under the Trump administration.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently ruled out including a debt ceiling increase into their social spending bill. That legislation is traveling through the reconciliation process which only requires a simple majority vote and permits Democrats to go around fierce GOP resistance to the legislation.

A recent memo from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service indicated President Donald Trump added $5.4 trillion onto the national debt since the debt ceiling was last suspended in July 2019 through the end of his administration in January 2021. The analysis has been circulating among Democratic lawmakers.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer cited the figures on Monday as he tore into Republican resistance on the issue. “Let me be clear: taking the debt hostage and playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States is reckless, irresponsible, and will harm every single American,” he said in a Senate floor speech. “It is a complete non-starter.”

The debt ceiling is the legal limit that the Treasury Department can borrow to maintain federal operations authorized by Congress. Raising the debt limit doesn’t green-light new federal spending, it only allows the US to pay off existing spending.

Democrats may add the debt ceiling provision onto an emergency spending bill the White House wants Congress to approve this month to finance relief efforts after Hurricane Ida and wildfires in the western US, in conjunction with funding to avert government shutdown at the end of September. That tactic could persuade some Republicans to support the legislation.

But 46 Senate Republicans signed a letter in August pledging to not go along with Democrats on raising the debt ceiling. It’s also unclear whether there would be enough Republican votes in the House.

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GOP and Democratic senators condemn abortion protest held outside Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home

abortion protest Brett Kavanaugh home
Protesters gather outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Chevy Chase, Md.

  • Senators condemned an abortion-rights protest held outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley called the demonstration a “blatant attempt to intimidate the judiciary.”
  • “SHUT UP AND PASS SOME LAWS,” the protest’s organizers said in response.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Both Republican and Democratic senators on Tuesday condemned an abortion-rights protest staged outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh the night before.

Around 50 demonstrators marched to Kavanaugh’s residence in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to rally against the Supreme Court’s recent move to maintain a Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The nation’s high court handed down its 5-4 decision on September 2, with Kavanaugh voting in the majority. Protestors on Monday evening called for Kavanaugh’s resignation.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, addressed the rally during a hearing on Tuesday.

“This protest looks like another blatant attempt to intimidate the judiciary and anyone who disagrees with the radical agenda pushed by partisan advocates,” Grassley said.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chairman of the committee, also denounced the protest.

“Politics ain’t beanbag. We all know that you have to have a tough mental hide to be in this business,” Durbin said Tuesday. “But it’s absolutely unacceptable, from my point of view, to involve any major public figure’s family or their home or to involve yourself in criminal trespass in the name of political freedom of speech.”

Durbin added that protestors should consider other methods, such as the ballot box, to have their voice heard.

“There are proper venues to express yourself,” he said. “I don’t believe a person’s home or their family should be fair game in this business.”

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont also weighed in on the matter, arguing that “trying to intimidate family, anything like that, is wrong.”

ShutDownDC, which organized the event, blasted the Democratic senators over their criticism and urged them to pass legislation that would protect reproductive health rights.

“The truth is, if Durbin, Leahy, and the Democratic majority in the US Senate did their jobs, we wouldn’t need to go to Brett Kavanaugh’s house,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday evening. “So today our message to Durbin, Leahy, and their buddies in the Senate Democratic Caucus is, SHUT UP AND PASS SOME LAWS.”

The Supreme Court has received immense public criticism for not blocking the Texas abortion law. The court’s majority argued in an unsigned opinion that its ruling was not based on the substance of the Texas law, which could still be legally challenged. The justices will consider a major case this upcoming term on the constitutionality of abortion, which could potentially upend Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

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Sen. Joe Manchin doubles down on requiring parents to work for the Biden child tax credit

Joe Manchin
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

  • Sen. Joe Manchin dug in on his proposal to require people work for the Biden child tax credit.
  • “Tax credits are based around people that have tax liabilities,” Manchin told Insider.
  • Early research indicates that it helped cut hunger among families, including those in Manchin’s state of West Virginia.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia dug in on pushing a new requirement that parents work in order to receive the child tax credit on Tuesday as Democrats struggled to get the $3.5 trillion social spending plan over the finish line.

“They know I feel very strongly about that. Tax credits are based around people that have tax liabilities,” Manchin told Insider on Th. “I’m even willing to go as long as they have a W-2 and showing they’re working, we’ve talked about that.”

It comes two days after Manchin first suggested requiring people to work and file taxes as a condition to get the advance monthly payments. He said in a CNN interview that tying the child tax credit to those with jobs would ensure federal assistance would flow to “the right people.” He maintained he supports child tax credits.

Democrats in the House and Senate, including Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, on Monday poured cold water on the idea. Opposition to the idea on Tuesday grew from other Democrats as well. The party is laboring to assemble a party-line package that can garner the support of nearly every Democratic lawmaker.

“Adding a work requirement or other stipulations to the Child Tax Credit would hurt middle-class families,” Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington, chair of the 95-member moderate New Democrat coalition, said in a statement to Insider. “The Child Tax Credit is an important tax cut for middle-class families and in only two months is already having an incredible impact on American children.”

She added the New Democrat group was “all-in” on extending the benefit.

Meanwhile, Brown told reporters on Tuesday, “I think that raising children is work.”

The Democratic stimulus law in March turned the credit into a one-year cash benefit issued in monthly checks to the vast majority of families. Individuals who earn $75,000 or less are eligible for up to either a $250 or $300 direct payment per child depending on their age. Couples earning a combined $150,000 or less also qualify for the total check amount.

House Democrats are pushing to extend the revamped credit until 2025, and ensuring that low-income families who don’t have to file taxes can permanently get the benefit. The current child allowance does not require individuals to have a job to obtain federal assistance.

But its unclear whether Senate Democrats will extend it with the same length and structure, given early resistance from Manchin.

Early research indicates the first month of payments kept three million children out of poverty and helped feed two million kids in July. Food insecurity dropped among West Virginians families as well, per an analysis last month from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

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Democrats are pouring cold water on Joe Manchin’s suggested work requirement for the Biden child tax credit

Sherrod Brown Bernie Sanders
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2014.

  • Democrats in the House and Senate started lining up against Manchin’s idea of tying the child tax credit to work requirements.
  • Among the Democrats critical of the idea were Sens. Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
  • It underscores the details that still need to be ironed out on renewing key anti-poverty program that’s a top Biden priority.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democrats in both the House and Senate on Monday started lining up against Sen. Joe Manchin’s suggestion that people should be required to work in order to qualify for President Joe Biden’s revamped monthly child tax credit (CTC).

Three Senate Democrats expressed opposition to the West Virginia Democrat’s concept of work requirements, including two influential committee chairs. Among them was Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who leads the Senate Banking Committee.

“Senator Brown believes that caregiving IS work, and the families receiving the CTC are working hard every day to provide for their children – some of them at multiple jobs,” a Brown spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. “These tax cuts have lifted millions of kids out of poverty. That policy should continue.”

That was echoed by a spokesperson for Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado. The person said Bennet backed the House Democratic plan that would renew the monthly payments until 2025 and lock in the ability for families with scarce or no tax obligations to access the credit after that.

“He believes punishing the poorest children in America because their family’s income is too low to qualify them for the CTC is self-defeating and incredibly compromising to them and to our nation’s future,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Insider.

They cited a body of research that shows work requirements end up kicking vulnerable people from economic security programs, depriving them of critical assistance.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont poured cold water on Manchin’s idea as well. “My own personal view is that would be counterproductive to the children who need help the most,” he told reporters.

The mounting opposition came a day after the West Virginia Democrat floated a work requirement for the program in a CNN interview. It underscores the details that remain to be ironed out among Democrats on one of their key anti-poverty initiatives as they try to mold a $3.5 trillion spending plan into law.

On Sunday, Manchin said tying the child allowance to work would ensure federal assistance would flow to “the right people,” while maintaining he supports child tax credits.

“There’s no work requirements whatsoever. There’s no education requirements whatsoever for better skill sets,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “Don’t you think, if we’re going to help the children, that the people should make some effort?”

A key House progressive slammed Manchin’s idea on Monday. “I… I don’t think he gets what we’re doing here,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote on Twitter. “Children still need to eat – whether their parents are employed or not.”

The Democratic stimulus law in March turned the credit into a one-year cash benefit issued in monthly checks to the vast majority of families. Individuals who earn $75,000 or less are eligible for up to either a $250 or $300 direct payment per child depending on their age. Couples earning a combined $150,000 or less also qualify for the total check amount.

Early research indicates the first month of payments in July kept three million children out of poverty and helped feed two million kids.

But Democrats are laboring to produce a sprawling social spending package that can garner the support of virtually every member of their party. They’re employing the reconciliation process to bypass Republican opposition, which requires only a simple majority.

Democrats are running up against budgetary constraints and they’re clashing behind the scenes on which measures to prioritize in healthcare and education. The party’s margin of error is slim: Democrats have three votes to spare in the House and none in the Senate for the plan to become law.

Manchin, alongside Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, say they’re opposed to the $3.5 trillion price tag, making reductions to the package possible. The House Democratic version of the child tax credit expansion would cost $556 billion over a decade, or one-sixth of the package.

“I want it to be as robust as possible,” Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told reporters. “It’s part of a comprehensive set of goals to reduce child poverty.”

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Chris Christie says he thinks Biden’s employer vaccine mandates are on ‘shaky ground,’ a day after taking heat for criticizing Trump on 9/11

Chris Christie on ABC News during the night of the 2020 presidential election.
Chris Christie on ABC News during the night of the 2020 presidential election.

  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he has concerns about Biden’s vaccine mandate for employers.
  • The day before, Christie tweeted out a video of himself criticizing Trump at the Reagan Library.
  • Many on Twitter called Christie “tone deaf” as the video was posted on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie supports getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but he thinks President Joe Biden’s new mandate for private employers is “on shaky ground” legally.

“Working for the government and ordering government workers to have a mandate, there is one thing,” Christie said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

“Extending that to two-thirds of all the jobs and make it either get vaccinated or not, it’s also contradictory logically,” Christie said.

The White House last week rolled out a new series of rules in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus, as cases again surgeand the vaccination rate in the country far too low to support herd immunity. Biden’s new rules require private employers with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing. Federal employees and healthcare workers are also required to be vaccinated, per Biden’s new plan. The administration will also enforce fines of up to $14,000 per violation for employers that ignore these mandates.

Many of Christie’s fellow Republicans have lashed out at Biden’s new mandate, saying it oversteps by making demands of the private sector, and have threatened lawsuits and disobedience.

“I think they’re really on shaky ground as to whether they can force this or not. So, it’s subject to legal challenge,” Christie said. The government needs to be “persuasive” but “let people get vaccinated on their own accord,” he added.

Meantime, Christie, a former federal prosecutor and 2020 presidential candidate, has been taking heat forlashing out at former ally, ex-President Donald Trump, in a series of tweets posted on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Christie tweeted out a video of himself speaking at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, where he said the Republican Party should disassociate with Trump. He called Trump’s supporters “conspiracy theorists.”

“The Democrats will not be defeated without sound alternatives to their flawed ideas,” Christie tweeted with the video. “Calling them wrong is not enough. Calling them names is immature & ineffective. Pretending we won when we lost is a waste of time, energy & credibility.”

Some on Twitter criticized Christie for sharing the video on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 instead of writing something in remembrance. Some called him “tone deaf” and replied with comments like “this is what you choose to put out on 9.11?” and “it could have waited a day.”

“I said what I believed on Thursday night, and it’s what I’m going to continue to believe,” Christie said told Stephanopoulos on Sunday.

Many believe that Christie will again run for president in 2024 and that his stop at the Regan Library, where many aspiring GOP presidential candidates have spoken before, is laying the groundwork.

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