WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Parents across the country could soon receive monthly checks to help cover the cost of living during the pandemic and beyond.
There’s bipartisan support around the idea to change the Child Tax Credit by boosting the amount and making it a monthly payment, but lawmakers still have different approaches.
“That’s how we help lift four million children out of poverty,” said Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-WA.
DelBene and a group of her Democratic colleagues reintroduced the American Family Act Monday, which would make an increase to the tax credit permanent. The legislation would send working and non-working parents $3,600 total a year per child under the age of six and $3,000 per child between six and 17 years old.
“We’re not just throwing money at a situation, but we are looking at enduring, transformational change,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT.
Those amounts would go to couples making less than $180,000 a year or $130,000 for single parents. Those making more than that could still get money per child at a lesser amount.
“All of this can set people on a path to economic security,” DeLauro said. “We believe our proposal is the gold standard, but I think obviously we will listen and hear from others as well.”
Other Democratic plans keep the same amounts per child, but make the benefit temporary and start phasing it out sooner, a $150,000 cap for couples and $75,000 for single parents. That includes a proposal from the Biden administration.
“It’s a central priority of his first legislative proposal to cut childhood poverty,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Psaki said President Biden included a change to the Child Tax Credit in his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package to send monthly checks to families for one year. If passed, the payments would start in July.
“That’s emergency funding and something that will help people get through this period of time,” Psaki said.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, also recently released the Family Security Act to give parents even larger monthly checks on a more permanent basis. Romney’s proposal would send $4,200 total a year per child under the age of six and $3,000 per child between six and 17 years old.
Romney plans to propose his legislation as an amendment to President Biden’s relief package.
However, opponents of these changes to the Child Tax Credit warn they would discourage unemployed parents from trying to find a job.