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With Assist From Romney, Dems Push More Free Money -- $3,000/$3,600-Per-Child Benefit

By Susan Jones | February 8, 2021 | 9:30am EST
 Bundles of $20 bills roll through the printing press at the US Bureau of Engraving in Washington, DC. (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Bundles of $20 bills roll through the printing press at the US Bureau of Engraving in Washington, DC. (Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to a $1,400 direct payment, the Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill includes an expansion of the child tax credit, and today, we're learning details: $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and $3,000 per child between the ages of 6 and 17, money that would flow annually to millions of Americans.

According to The Washington Post, which got an advance look at the legislation:

The size of the benefit would diminish for Americans earning more than $75,000 per year, as well as for couples jointly earning more than $150,000 per year. The payments ($250) would be sent monthly beginning in July, a delay intended to give the IRS time to prepare for the massive new initiative.

The bill, spearheaded by Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, emerges as congressional Democrats accelerate their plans to enact Biden’s stimulus plan within weeks. It also comes days after Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) surprised policymakers with a proposal to send even more in direct cash per child to American families, lending bipartisan support to the major push for child benefits.

Biden’s proposed child benefit has quickly emerged as a potentially defining feature of his administration’s economic agenda — one that could make a lasting imprint on American welfare policy. Its execution could also prove crucial to deciding Democrats’ ability to maintain control of Congress, given its likely direct impact on the lives of tens of millions of voters.

The Washington Post said it's "unclear" if Democrats can pass the expanded child tax credit through reconciliation -- without Republican votes, in other words.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she is aiming to pass Biden’s relief package, which would include the child benefit, through the House within two weeks.

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