President Joe Biden rejected calls from Democrats to make the new expanded child tax credit permanent, telling lawmakers that he will support only a temporary extension, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Democrats expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for most families and up to $3,600 for parents of children under 6 in their $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan earlier this year. The credit would also be paid throughout the year rather than in one payment and is fully refundable.
Supporters of the measure said that it would cut child poverty rates in half and called for Biden to make it permanent.
But Biden told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he will propose a four-year extension instead over concerns that a permanent extension would not pass the Senate.
“He said ‘I’d love to do it permanent, but I’m not sure that I can get that through the Senate,’ ” Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez told the Journal. “You could tell he was interested in making it permanent, that was the back and forth on that.”
Democrats push for permanent bill:
A group of Democrats including Senators Sherrod Brown, Cory Booker, and Michael Benet issued a statement on Tuesday calling for Biden to make the tax credit permanent in his infrastructure package.
“No recovery will be complete unless our tax code provides a sustained pathway to economic prosperity for working families and children,” the statement said. “Permanent expansion of CTC will continue to be our priority.”
The child tax credit extension is expected to be part of Biden’s second spending bill, which is expected to cost about $1 trillion. He has already proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure package.
Republicans have slammed Biden’s proposal, arguing that it should only focus on things like roads and bridges.
“We’re open to a more modest and targeted infrastructure bill,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “And for myself, it’s one thing to run up the national debt when you have a 100-year pandemic. And just to keep routinely adding trillions of dollars, the national debt, I think is ill-advised for the future of the country.”