Democrats have increased the tax credit to $ 3,000 per child aged 6 to 17 and to $ 3,600 per child aged 5 and under this year. But for it to continue, Congress must extend it.
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s $ 1.85 trillion plan to boost social and educational programs as well as protect against global warming continues to be refined by Democrats in Congress with a new target to complete work before Thanksgiving. Indications were that it could be voted on in the House by Friday, sending it to the Senate.
One provision that tens of millions of American families probably want to know is whether the expanded child tax credit, implemented in July, will continue until 2022. As part of a bill to COVID relief, Democrats increased the tax credit to $ 3,000 per child aged 6 to 17. and $ 3,600 per child aged 5 and under. Households earning up to $ 150,000 per year get the credit paid to them on a monthly basis.
As of Thursday night, the provision was still in the bill – at least for another year. Budget hawks fear that a one-year extension is a budget tool that will reduce the cost of the program on paper, but hide its true costs, as lawmakers tend to continue programs rather than let them expire.
The bill also extends, for one year, the expanded earned income tax credit that goes to 17 million low-wage, childless workers.
Other measures for parents in the bill:
- A universal preschool would be established for all 3- and 4-year-olds and child care grants for the poorest and middle-income Americans. But the programs are only funded for six years.
- Parents earning up to 250% of a state’s median income should pay no more than 7% of their income for child care. Parents must be working, looking for a job, attending school or having a medical condition to be eligible.
- Eligible workers would receive up to four weeks of paid leave to reimburse them for time spent caring for a new child or other family members or recovering from illness. Biden had originally proposed 12 weeks of paid family leave.
- $ 150 billion for affordable housing to build over one million new rental and single-family homes. The aim would be to reduce price pressures by providing rental and down payment assistance.
Democrats are cutting some other investments and shortening the funding period to cut spending. Some proposals were completely abandoned.
The framework matches a budget of around $ 1.85 trillion over 10 years, instead of the $ 3.5 trillion budget plan initially envisioned.