Pelosi: Dems Are Using Cash for Kids As 'Leverage' to Pass BBB

By Susan Jones | December 16, 2021 | 5:05am EST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joins other Democrats in raising awareness of the Child Tax Credit, in Los Angeles on July 15, 2021 -- the day the first payments went out. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joins other Democrats in raising awareness of the Child Tax Credit, in Los Angeles on July 15, 2021 -- the day the first payments went out. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Unless Senate Democrats join House Democrats in passing the partisan "Build Back Better Act (BBB)," there will be no more direct cash payments to millions of American families with children.

On Tuesday, a reporter asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) if she would consider a stand-alone bill extending the monthly Child Tax Credit payments so the direct cash infusions can continue in 2022.

Pelosi admitted that she's using the payments as "leverage" to force passage of the Democrat agenda, much of contained in the multi-trillion-dollar BBB:

"Of course, we could pass that in the House," said Pelosi, who repeatedly insists that everything she does is “for the children."

Whether we could pass it in the Senate remains to be seen. But I don't want to let anybody off the hook on the BBB to say, well, we covered that one thing, so now the pressure is off. I think that that is really important leverage in a discussion on BBB that the children and their families will suffer without that payment.

Not everybody gets it on a monthly basis, but those who need it the most do. And so, we're just still optimistic about BBB passing. And perhaps even if it were after the first of the year, which I hope it is not, that it could be retroactive if it's early enough in the first of the year.

The Child Tax Credit gives qualifying families up to $3,600 a year for every child under age six and up to $3,000 a year for every child 6-17.

Normally, the credit is deducted from a family's taxable income. But Democrats, in the American Rescue Plan, raised the amount from $2,000 and delivered the credit in the form of monthly cash payments.

They also made families with little or no income -- those who don't pay any taxes -- eligible for the monthly payments.

Yesterday's (Dec. 15) payment could be the last one of its kind, unless Democrats pass the BBB, which extends the cash infusions for one year -- in addition to establishing other big government programs such as subsidized child care, paid family and medical leave, free pre-school for toddlers, help with home purchases, the green new deal, and much more -- all of it supposedly "fully paid for," as President Biden and his supporters insist.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee argue that "[g]ood jobs and rising paychecks do more to lift Americans out of poverty than dependence on never-ending government checks. There are a number of factors contributing to poverty. Rewarding work and helping the poor become self-sufficient is the surest path out of poverty," they say.

Republicans say Democrats intend to make the monthly cash payments permanent, starting with the one-year extension contained in BBB.

Republicans reject the Democrat claim that the Child Tax Credit has reduced child poverty by 40 percent.

"There is no sound evidence to back up this claim. Democrats cite a flawed study by the Poverty Center at Columbia University that assumes all eligible children are enrolled in the program -– which they are not," they say.

"In July, a left-leaning organization noted that only 720,000 of the approximately 7 million kids that are eligible but not already registered with the IRS were successfully receiving new child tax credit -- and that 90 percent or more of the kids the IRS needed to reach have not been reached."

Republicans also point to studies showing "that many recipients have used the Child Tax Credit to pad their savings or save for retirement. While commendable, that’s not its purpose," they say.

Moreover, the monthly payments are believed to be contributing to the shortage of willing workers.

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