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Democrats unveil $3,000 child benefit as part of Biden relief package

House Democratic leaders unveiled legislation Monday that would give millions of families at least $3,000 per child, advancing a key provision in...

Posted: Feb 7, 2021 2:24 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2021 4:45 PM

House Democratic leaders unveiled legislation Monday that would give millions of families at least $3,000 per child, advancing a key provision in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package.

Rep. Richard Neal, who is leading the crafting of the legislation for the stimulus package as the Ways and Means Committee chairman, introduced the enhanced Child Tax Credit bill.

'The pandemic is driving families deeper and deeper into poverty, and it's devastating. We are making the Child Tax Credit more generous, more accessible, and by paying it out monthly, this money is going to be the difference in a roof over someone's head or food on their table,' the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement provided to CNN.

CNN obtained a copy of the 22-page bill Sunday. The Washington Post first reported on it.

The legislation would provide $3,600 per child under the age of six and $3,000 per child age six through 17 for a single year. The full benefit is available to single parents earning up to $75,000 annually and for couples earning up to $150,000. Payments would phase out after those thresholds.

Families can receive the Child Tax Credit payments on a monthly basis, which advocates say would make it easier to pay their obligations compared to getting a lump sum at tax time.

If this particular legislation is passed by Congress, the payments would begin in July for one year.

Another big change: The credit would become fully refundable for the year. Some 27 million children currently live in low-income families who receive a partial or no tax credit because they earn too little, according to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The current Child Tax Credit provides up to $2,000 per child under the age of 17. The credit phases out for single parents with a modified adjusted gross income over $200,000, and $400,000 for married couples. Families receive a single payment.

Some 90% of families with children will receive an average credit of $2,380 in 2020, according to a non-partisan Tax Policy Center estimate.

Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Suzan DelBene of Washington and Ritchie Torres of New York also introduced on Monday standalone legislation that would continue the expanded benefit permanently.

DeLauro, who has been working on bolstering the child tax credit since 2003, said Congress should pass the enhancement permanently while there's a chance in a statement first provided to CNN Sunday.

'We cannot stop here. We must use this moment to pass the American Family Act and permanently expand and improve the child tax credit. One year is not enough for the children and families battling not just the coronavirus, but poverty, too,' the Connecticut Democrat said in the statement.

Some Republicans also support increasing the Child Tax Credit. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney last week unveiled a proposal to provide a monthly cash benefit of $350 for each young child ($4,200 annually) and $250 for each school-aged child ($3,000 annually).

However, his measure would also eliminate several existing government assistance programs -- including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families -- and tax provisions, including the deduction for state and local taxes.

Romney said his plan would lift nearly 3 million children out of poverty, while not adding to the federal deficit. It would cost about $66 billion, including accompanying changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Biden's proposal to give relief to low-income families

Biden's relief package, which he unveiled last month, called for augmenting the Child Tax Credit for one year to help fight against poverty.

The President's proposal also includes an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to more low-income workers, along with $1,400 stimulus checks and increased unemployment, nutrition and housing aid, among other measures.

'All told, the American Rescue Plan would lift 12 million Americans out of poverty and cut child poverty in half. That's 5 million children lifted out of poverty,' Biden said last month before signing two executive orders that would augment nutrition assistance and strengthen federal worker protections.

Biden also noted that the proposal would reduce poverty among Black families by one third and among Hispanic households by almost 40%.

A one-year expansion would cost about $120 billion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan fiscal watchdog.

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
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Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
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