(CNSNews.com) - The Democrats' multi-trillion "Build Back Better Act" (BBB) includes a one-year extension of the Child Tax Credit program, which pays families up to $3,000 for every child ages 6-17 and $3,600 for every child under age 6.
Families get the money, depending on their income level and regardless of whether anyone in the family actually works and pays taxes.
BBB is currently stuck in the Senate, and unless it passes by year-end, the final Child Tax Credit payment will go out tomorrow, December 15.
Democrats are using the tax-credit expiration as an urgent reason to pass BBB, which includes most of their leftist agenda.
But Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee say don't be fooled -- the child tax credit "has been turned into the largest welfare-without-work program in existence by President Biden and Congressional Democrats."
"Good jobs and rising paychecks do more to lift Americans out of poverty than dependence on never-ending government checks," Ways and Means Republicans said in a news release dated Dec. 13. "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."
Committee Republicans note it was the GOP who doubled the Child Tax Credit to $2,000 in the Tax Cut & Jobs Act of 2017, a move that Democrats opposed at the time. But this past March, as part of the American Rescue Plan, Democrats temporarily increased the Child Tax Credit (as noted above), delivered the “credit” in the form of monthly checks, and increased the amount sent to people who don't work.
Now Democrats want to make their tax credit permanent, although BBB extends it for only one year to make the multi-trillion-dollar bill look less expensive than it really is.
"The last quarterly Child Tax Credit checks expire December 15th. Democrats are pushing to extend the welfare Child Tax Credit permanently -- starting with a one-year extension in the $4.9 trillion Build Back Better bill," Ways and Means Committee Republicans said.
"Democrats seek to send never-ending government checks to 5 million households with children where no parent is working – creating yet another barrier to work and turning the already dysfunctional IRS into America’s top welfare agency.
“Meanwhile there are 11 million job openings. For every 100 job openings, there are 67 jobless workers. Democrats’ War on Work is threatening our recovery and hurting Main Street businesses."
Myths and facts
Committee Republicans on Monday countered some of the "false and misleading claims' Democrats are making, as follows:
Myth: Democrats claim the welfare Child Tax Credit has “reduced child poverty by 40 percent.”
Facts: 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. 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.
Myth: Democrats’ welfare Child Tax Credit is crucial to support children as the country exits the COVID pandemic.
Facts: Studies show that many recipients have used the Child Tax Credit to pad their savings or save for retirement. While commendable, that’s not its purpose. A University of Chicago study concluded the loss of earnings by parents no longer required to work would offset the reduction in child poverty.
Myth: Democrats’ monthly Child Tax Credits aren’t contributing to America’s labor crisis.
Fact: The University of Chicago published a full research paper that found the welfare Child Tax Credit expansion would lead 1.5 million workers to exit the labor force – another devastating blow to Main Street businesses struggling to find workers.
Myth: Democrats pioneered the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit.
Facts: In 2017, Republicans doubled the Child Tax Credit as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and increased the refundable portion of the credit to $1,400 indexed for inflation. In addition to strengthening families’ financial security and encouraging work, TCJA created the first-ever Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit to help businesses offer benefits to their workers. Struggling families need good paying jobs, not endless government checks.
Myth: The majority of Americans want Democrats’ Child Tax Credit to be permanent.
Fact: In October, a Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 52 percent of Americans oppose making Democrats’ monthly payments permanent.
The bottom line, according to Committee Republicans: "Paying parents not to work and creating more barriers for the jobless to reconnect to a job harms families and the economy. Instead of making the worker shortage worse and driving up inflation, Democrats in Congress should join with Republicans to make the 2017 expansion permanent – including rewarding work by preserving the earnings requirement."
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked on Monday what she would say to families who wonder if the December 15th check will be their last one:
"Well, clearly, the president wants to see the child tax credit extended, that's why he proposed in this package," Psaki said. "And clearly, that's why a number of members of the Senate want to get this done as soon as possible. The president supports that. We, of course, need 50 votes in order to do that so we're continuing to work through the process of getting there."
Another reporter asked if the White House would support a stand-alone bill to extend the tax credit, rather than making it part of the stalled BBB:
"We're not at that point right now," Psaki said. "Right now, we're continuing to press to get Bill Back Better through the Senate. Leader Schumer has advocated for that and that's what we're working on at this moment."