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Democrats to reveal $3,000 child benefit as part of relief package

The new legislation expands the existing Child Tax Credit bill and provides parents with monthly payments rather than a lump sum at tax time.

Democrats to reveal $3,000 child benefit as part of relief package
Image Source: President Biden Delivers Remarks On The Economy And Need For American Rescue Plan. WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Later today Democrats plan to reveal legislation that would give millions of households at least $3,000 per child in a family. This is a key provision in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package for those affected by the ongoing public health crisis. The enhanced "Child Tax Credit bill" will be introduced by Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal, who is presently leading the crafting of the legislation for the stimulus package, a spokesperson revealed. The 22-page bill shows that families will be eligible to receive the Child Tax Credit payments on a monthly basis, CNN reports.


Neal affirmed in a statement, "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." As per the proposed legislation, $3,600 will be provided per child under the age of six, and $3,000 will be provided per child aged six through 17 for a single year. Single parents earning up to $75,000 annually as well as couples earning up to $150,000 are eligible for the full benefit. Following these thresholds, payments will be phased out.


The Child Tax Credit payments will be paid out to families on a monthly basis. Advocates believe that this will make it simpler to meet their obligations in comparison to receiving a lump sum at tax time. Should Congress pass this particular legislation, payments will begin in July this year for a period of one year. In addition to this, another significant change has been mandated: credit is to become fully refundable for the year. Currently, about 27 million children live in low-income families "who receive a partial or no tax credit because they earn too little," the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shared.


As of now, Child Tax Credit provides up to $2,000 per child under the age of 17, with credit phasing out for single parents with a modified adjusted gross income over $200,000, and $400,000 for married couples. Payments are made as lump sums. The Tax Policy Center estimates that 90 percent of families with children will receive an average credit of $2,380 in 2020. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut believes now is the time to expand the bill. "We cannot stop here," she asserted. "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."


In addition to expanding Child Tax Credit, Biden's relief package includes an augment of the Earned Income Tax Credit to more low-income workers, as well as $1,400 stimulus checks and increased unemployment, nutrition, and housing aid. Other measures have also been included. Biden stated in January prior to signing two executive orders that would boost nutrition assistance and strengthen federal worker protections, "All told, the American Rescue Plan would lift 12 million Americans out of poverty and cut child poverty in half. That's five million children lifted out of poverty."


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