(PatriotWise.com)- A signature part of the Democrats’ coronavirus relief package expired this week, putting extra pressure on liberals to quickly pass their social spending bill so the benefit can continue for 2022.
December 15 marked the last payment in the Democrats’ expanded child care tax credit that was passed as part of their economic relief package instituted last March. That $1.9 trillion package included an expansion on the child care tax credit.
Instead of the typical $2,000 per-child credit that families could use as a deduction on their annual taxes, the relief package increased that amount to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and $3,000 per child between 6 and 17 years old.
The other part of the expansion was that families could take half of what they were due upfront in six monthly installments, from July through December. That meant families could receive $300 per month for each child under 6 and $250 per month for each child between 6 and 17.
The last monthly payment for that package expired this week, when families received their last direct deposit on December 15. The remaining half of the tax credit will still be able to be used as a deduction on families’ annual taxes.
Democrats are hoping to extend this measure, and they’re trying to do so through President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better package. Liberals view the expanded tax credit, including the monthly payments, as critical to reducing poverty among children.
But, unless Democrats act quickly, there will be a lapse in the package.
The big roadblock standing in the way of the bill being passed is West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who has indicated that he’s reluctant to pass the package before the end of 2021.
Democrats are going to need the support of all their members in the Senate, since they’re using budget reconciliation to pass the BBB bill without support from any Republicans.
Even though Manchin isn’t fully on board with the package yet, many leading Democrats are saying that there will be no lapse in the expanded child care tax credit program. Senator Sherrod Brown, from Ohio, recently said:
“We are not going to have a lapse in payments. That’s too important.”
If Democrats want to have the monthly payments continue in January on the 15th, Congress would need to pass the BBB bill by December 28, as Senator Ron Wyden, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said this week.
“We’ve got to work very hard and move quickly because of some of the logistical challenges that the IRS has in terms of the process, and I’m committed to getting it done. I’m pulling out all the stops to make sure that there is no interruption.”
The social spending package has already passed through the House, but it hasn’t even been introduced in the Senate yet. Democrats are still trying to rally support from its full membership, including from Manchin and some other moderate members of their party.