As Biden Considers Accepting Work Requirements, the Child Tax Credit Could Be Revived
If President Joe Biden can convince enough Democrats to attach a work condition to the program, the enhanced Child Tax Credit that helped lift millions of children out of poverty before it expired last year could return permanently.
White House officials have informed congressional Democrats in private that Vice President Biden would support a solution to resurrect the enlarged CTC even if it included a requirement that at least one parent work, according to a Politico article citing anonymous sources.
“Something absurd would have to occur” for there to be no employment requirement, a participant in the discussions told Politico.
As previously reported by the 2021 American Rescue Plan the Biden administration increased the CTC from $2,000 per kid to $3,000 per child for children over the age of 6 and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of 6.
However, attempts to extend the credit last year failed due to opposition from Republicans and some Democrats.
Some opponents of the extension stated that they would support a new CTC measure only if it contained a parental work requirement. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, opposed any expansion of the CTC to families with no working parent.
Many Democrats, including Vice President Biden, have resisted attaching a labor requirement to legislation. This could change if an enlarged CTC is passed during the current lame-duck session of Congress and before the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in 2023.
A bigger proportion of Democrats may favor a work requirement if it expedites the current legislative session.
This will certainly necessitate concessions from both political parties, such as the restoration of expired company tax incentives in exchange for a more generous CTC.
According to experts at Columbia University’s Center for Poverty and Social Policy, about 4 million children slid back into poverty when the extended credit expired.
In order to reduce poverty rates, White House officials urge Congress to pursue any possible agreement before time runs out.
Adam Ruben, director of the lobbying group Economic Security Project Action, told Politico, “Everyone working on this topic feels that this is it, this is the moment.”
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With a split government, the political landscape won’t improve next year.
This indicates that legislators who previously opposed a work requirement will likely need to accept one if the extended CTC is to be reinstated. At least publicly, the Biden administration has been tight-lipped about its positions.
A representative for the White House reportedly told Politico in private that the president “welcomes a dialogue with anyone, Democrat or Republican, who has ideas for tax relief to aid families and children.”