Democrats have 19 days to pass Biden’s big bill before parents get cut off from child tax credit checks in January, IRS says

joe biden
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill in the State Dining Room of the White House on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.

  • The IRS says December 28 is the latest Biden’s plan can pass for January CTC payments to go out.
  • Two Democratic aides privately confirmed the IRS communications to Insider.
  • Schumer is putting his foot on the gas, but Manchin hasn’t signaled that he’s onboard with this timeline.

The Internal Revenue Service has advised Congressional Democrats that December 28 is the latest date that President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion social and climate spending bill must pass to ensure the January 15 round of child tax credit payments goes out smoothly.

Two Democratic aides were granted anonymity to privately discuss the matter with Insider.

The development could add further urgency to Democrats’ struggle to meet their ambitious timeline to approve the sprawling bill by Christmas. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is using the looming deadline to pressure all 50 Senate Democrats to immediately unite around the package over unanimous Republican opposition.

“COVID isn’t over, and so these checks shouldn’t lapse either — on the contrary they should keep going!” Schumer said Thursday on the Senate floor.

Though Schumer is pressing his foot on the gas, he’s already collided with a major obstacle: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin has not thrown his support behind the bill and said on Wednesday a chunk of the package was still being negotiated. He told Insider that the federal government had stepped in enough with a burst of new spending to help families during the pandemic, in the event of the child tax credit abruptly ending.

“We’re doing an awful lot,” Manchin said. “We did an expansion of SNAP. We’ve done everything that we can to help people — we sent out $5.4 trillion in aid.”

The current bill would renew the revamped child tax credit through 2022. It provides up to $300 a month per child age 5 and under, or $3,600 annually. For children between ages 6 and 17, families can receive $250 each month, or $3,000 yearly. And it would lock in the ability for the vast majority of American families to receive the cash every month, regardless of whether they file taxes.

Some 35 million families are receiving the monthly child tax credit, per the IRS and Treasury. Data shows the government cash is going towards basic expenses like rent, groceries and gas. 

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado told Insider on Wednesday that it would be a “disaster” if millions of families were abruptly cut off from the monthly checks. Experts agree.

“Letting the child tax credit expire would be a terrible mistake,” Lindsay Owens, an economist at the left-leaning Groundwork Collaborative who has closely studied the issue, told Insider. “It’s successful program that’s helping families afford the rising costs and take on childcare costs.”

Read the original article on Business Insider