Democrats to unveil $3,000-per-child benefit on Monday: Do you qualify?

Coronavirus

FILE – This Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 file photo shows part of a 1040 federal tax form printed from the Internal Revenue Service website. (Associated Press)

On Monday, Senior Democrats will unveil legislation that seeks to provide a minimum of $3,000 per child as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic relief package, according to multiple reports.

The Washington Post first reported that the 22-page bill would provide $3,600 a year for each child under the age of six and $3,000 per child ages six to 17.

The benefit would be diminished for single parents earning more than $75,000 annually and couples earning over $150,000, CNN said.

The Child Tax Credits will be available on a monthly basis and will be fully refundable. Under the current plan, the tax credit is not refundable.

According to CNN, if Congress passes the bill, payments would begin in July and last for one year, though congressional Democrats and White House officials have previously said they would push to maintain the policy indefinitely.

President Biden’s stimulus plan

Biden stressed in a speech announcing his stimulus plan that low-interest rates mean the government should borrow now in hopes of having faster growth and a more stable financial outlook in the future.

“If we invest now boldly, smartly, and with an unwavering focus on American workers and families, we will strengthen our economy, reduce inequity and put our nation’s long-term finances on the most sustainable course,” Biden said.

The question is what elements of the Biden plan can win enough Republican votes to clear the evenly split Senate, where at least 60 votes will be needed. Without Republican buy-in, Biden’s proposal could pass with a simple majority under budget reconciliation — but that’s a time-consuming process that would limit what Democrats are able to accomplish.

“This is an opening bid. There is a sense from Republican staff that $1.9 trillion is a little rich,” said Bill Hoagland, a former Republican aide who is senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center. 

Direct payments: $1,400 stimulus checks

The Biden plan conforms to the view that the federal government can reduce economic inequality and fuel growth by increasing spending on social services and sending cash directly to households.

It would provide direct payments of $1,400 per person to eligible households, temporarily expand tax credits for children and childcare, help childcare providers and enhance jobless benefits and food aid. There would be $400 billion to get the nation vaccinated, including $130 billion that could help schools safely reopen with smaller classes or better ventilation systems.

There is also the possibility that the Biden plan could lead to lasting changes in the social safety net. By temporarily making the child tax credit fully refundable, families who don’t earn enough money to owe federal income taxes would still qualify for the maximum benefit.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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