White House officials said the short- and long-term benefits President Joe Biden envisioned for his Build Back Better plan went something like this:
Linda, a pregnant working mother in Peoria, Illinois, plies her trade at a local manufacturing facility as a production worker who earns $40,000 annually. When her son, Leo, is born, Linda begins receiving monthly Child Tax Credits of $300 – or $3,600 annually – to help cover essential costs like groceries, rent and medicine.
As Leo grows up, the government helps cover his daycare costs, guaranteeing that she doesn’t need to pay more than 7 percent of her income on childcare. When Leo turns three, he attends a high-quality pre-K program free of charge. After graduating high school, Leo enrolls in a community college because of extended Pell Grants and investments in community colleges.
“Thanks to his community college training, Leo lands a good-paying, union job as a wind turbine technician. His job is one of four million new jobs a year supported by President Biden’s economic plan,” officials report.
However, like many ambitious dreams, visions of making life easier for the millions of Americans including Linda and Leo, appear to have been cast to the wind – dying, it seems, like the president’s Build Back Better plan.
At least for now.
With no Republican support and opposition from Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, many of President Biden’s supporters have quietly acknowledged defeat.
The president and Manchin recently held lengthy discussions and it’s believed that the West Virginia Democrat wants to cut the child tax credit provision from the $1.75 trillion economic and climate package.
Reports suggested that Manchin has expressed how the overall cost of the child tax credit impacts the entire package. The bill as it stands would extend the credit for one year, affecting more than 35 million Americans for households earning up to $35,000 per year.
According to CNN, Manchin said temporary programs do not reflect the actual cost to taxpayers.
Asked why not just vote against future extensions of the child tax credit and agree to a one-year extension now, Manchin said: “I want to make sure that we’re upfront, transparent with the public. That’s all,” CNN reported.
Another source called talks between Manchin and Biden “very far apart.”
While Democratic leaders had expressed a desire to push the legislation through before 2022, it’s believed they will try and tackle the bill again sometime after the new year.
Through the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill earlier this year, lawmakers enacted the child tax credit for 2021 only. The credit provides up to $3,600 for each younger child and $3,000 for each older one per year.
The entire credit goes to heads of households earning up to $112,500 a year and joint filers making up to $150,000, after which it begins to phase out.
Through the bill, $300 monthly payments are distributed to each child under the age of 6 and $250 per month for children ages 6 to 17.
Economists have generally agreed that the monthly payments have significantly reduced child poverty in America.