Lauren Moye, FISM NEWS
Reductions to Biden’s child tax credit might be a necessary compromise if progressives want to push the president’s “Build Back Better” plan into law. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has proposed new limits to the program that will reduce the bill’s cost to taxpayers.
The current social policy revisionist legislation, guided by Biden’s liberal vision, proposes the renewal of the Child Tax Credit through 2024. Manchin recommends that the credit be tied to an established work condition and to target families who make an annual income in the $60,000 range.
Biden signed the current child tax credit back in March which increased the annual credit amount to $3,600 for children ages 0-5 or $3,000 for older children. The credit is refundable and has been partially paid through monthly installments for the 2021 tax year. Biden’s reforms also allow families without taxable income to receive the full amount.
Democrats have been trying to pass the “Build Back Better” act for weeks now as a budget reconciliation bill, but in-fighting between progressive House representatives and centrist senators has held up the bill. Democrats need all 50 votes to successfully pass their budget plan. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) refuse to pass the bill, citing the high cost of the $3.5 trillion proposal.
Back in September, Manchin said on a CNN broadcast that he wanted to “make sure we’re getting [the child tax credit] to the right people.” He later added, “There’s no work requirements whatsoever. There’s no education requirements whatsoever for better skill sets. Don’t you think, if we’re going to help the children, that the people should make some effort?”
Manchin’s resolute stand against his own party has garnered continued criticism and pressure from progressive colleagues. As previously reported by FISM News, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) addressed Manchin’s constituents on Friday through a West Virginia Gazette opinion piece.
After highlighting the supposed good qualities of the Build Back Better act, Sanders next wrote: “Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation. Yet, the political problem we face is that in a 50-50 Senate we need every Democratic senator to vote ‘yes.’” He continued to attempt to create a wedge between Manchin and the people of his state by framing the “historic opportunity” as a way to support West Virginia working-class families as well as families in “the entire country” with a “policy which works for all, not just a few.”
In addition to the child tax credit, Manchin has also voiced opposition to the Clean Electricity Payment Program portion of the budget reconciliation bill. The goal of this program is to motivate utilities towards clean energy sources through the use of grants and fines in order to meet Biden’s stated goal of reducing U.S. emissions by 50% of their 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “We cannot advance legislation that makes the climate crisis worse. The Exxon-designed “bipartisan” infrastructure plan worsens emissions, but pairing it w/clean energy in Build Back Better neutralizes BIF’s harm and lets us tackle the climate crisis. We cannot afford to gut it.”