Biden’s transition officials did not reveal the overall package price, but it is expected to be more than $ 1 trillion.
Although a final decision has not been made, Biden can push for a proposal similar to his campaign promise provide $ 300 a month for American families for each child under 6, as well as $ 250 per month for each child between 6 and 17. This would amount to $ 3,600 per year for families with a small child, as well as $ 3,000 per year for families with older children. Biden may seek to extend the existing child benefit to millions of poor families currently excluded from the program.
America currently has significantly higher child poverty rates than much of the industrialized world, and Democratic lawmakers in both the House and Senate have been pushing for years to expand tax benefits for children in response to this problem. The effort could attract opposition from Republican lawmakers who refused to see the trillions of dollars already authorized by Congress in response to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus.
The possible inclusion of the child benefit arises as Democratic lawmakers begin to dispute the priorities of the economic aid package, which will be Biden’s first legislative effort as president. Brian Deese, new director of the White House National Economic Council, said at an event organized by Reuters on Wednesday that Biden would present a “robust package”.
Deese said Biden would outline a two-way plan, starting with a recovery package focused on the coronavirus pandemic, with a major relief effort to follow.
Democratic lawmakers can pass stimulus legislation without Republican votes in the House and Senate. The White House is indicating that it will seek a bipartisan aid package first, although it does not rule out approving the measure only with Democratic support, through a budget process known as reconciliation.
Following the initial relief package, Biden’s team is expected to return later this year to another major legislative effort focusing on long-term economic reforms, such as an infrastructure or health project.
“Our view here, both substantively and strategically, is – this is an approach that Democrats and Republicans can and should support,” said Deese of the government’s impending aid package.
Biden has sought to embrace proposals with broad democratic support, and a major expansion of the existing Child Tax Credit has almost universal support among Democratic lawmakers.
House Democrats approved an expansion of the child tax credit last year, led in part by the Chairman of the House Means and Means Committee, Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.). According to the legislation written by Sens. Michael F. Bennet (D-Col.) And Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio.) Supported by most Senate Democrats, the child benefit would be claimed primarily by parents who use it to offset their existing tax obligations when they pay taxes. The millions of Americans who do not earn enough to file income taxes could claim credit as a refund by filling out an online form with the Internal Revenue Service, similar to the mechanism used to deliver $ 1,200 stimulus payments last year.
Brown told reporters earlier this week that he spoke with the new Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, about creating new bank accounts through the Federal Reserve that would make it easier for Americans to claim child tax benefits.
“The $ 250 a month goes to these low-income families every month, throughout the year. $ 300 if your child is under five, ”said Brown. “Why not deposit directly into one of those Fed accounts that everyone can have? Imagine the difference it would make for families that are struggling. “
Some policy experts said it would be better for the Biden government to provide direct cash payments, rather than a reduction in tax obligations, to American parents. Many low-income Americans will receive only a negligible amount of the new benefit, once it is deducted from their existing tax charges, a process that will prove more difficult and administratively complex than sending more stimulus payments, said Matt Bruenig, founder of the People’s Policy Project, a left-wing think tank.
“Trump put his name on checks for $ 1,200, and Democrats may risk appearing to offer far less help in a way and in a way that nobody realizes,” said Bruenig, citing tax cuts approved by the plan. President Obama’s stimulus during the Great Recession that flew below the radar.
Bennet defended his approach, citing its political traction and research suggesting it could reduce child poverty in as much as 45 percent. “I can’t think of anything more at war with who we are as Americans, than allowing children to grow up in poverty,” said Bennet of the plan last year.