© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a package of financial aid measures to respond to the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, inside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, USA, March 11, 20
By Jason Lange and Chris Kahn
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A one-year expansion of the U.S. child tax credit, a policy championed by President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats over Republican opposition, has disproportionately benefited states that voted for him. Former President Donald Trump in 2020, according to a Reuters review of Treasury Department data has been found.
Congressional Democrats are now seeking to extend the expansion for an additional four years as part of a $ 3.5 trillion social spending legislation opposed by Trump’s fellow Republicans. The one-year expansion, part of the COVID-19 pandemic relief legislation https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-congress/bidens-1-9-trillion-covid -19-bill- wins final-internal-approval-idUSKBN2B215E signed by Biden in March, expected to funnel $ 105 billion to American families, many of whom are still suffering the economic effects of the public health crisis.
The current extended tax credit has proven popular, according to a Reuters / Ipsos poll, backed by 59% of American adults, including 75% of those who identified themselves as Democrats and 41% of those who identified themselves. as republicans. The survey was conducted online from September 9 to 10, based on responses from 1,003 adults and with a credibility interval of 4 percentage points.
Support for the policy among Republicans far exceeded their 11% endorsement of Biden’s overall job performance in a separate Reuters / Ipsos poll.
The popularity of the policy, experts said, could benefit Democrats in next year’s elections that will determine whether they retain control of Congress during the second half of Biden’s term. Democrats defend very small majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives.
“That could make a difference in many places where we have closed races in the Senate and House,” said Norman Ornstein, an election expert at the American Enterprise Institute.
The top 10 states for average monthly child tax credit payments in August, all Western and Midwest, were: Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Alaska, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, and Montana, with monthly payments ranging from $ 515 to $ 456 in August. They all voted last year for Trump over Biden and they all have Republican governors.
Of the 10 states with the lowest average payments, only one, Florida-backed Trump, also has a Republican governor. Massachusetts residents received the smallest median household payment in August: $ 387. (For a state-by-state graph on the tax credit, see https://tmsnrt.rs/397E5B2)
In Wisconsin and Arizona, states that Biden narrowly won last year and are shaping up to have competitive Senate races next year, average payouts in August were just under $ 450.
The policy gets cash to families even before annual tax bills settle. Republican-led states tend to have lower household incomes than Democratic-led states like California and New York, so they benefit more from the policy, which reduces tax credits for high-income households.
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN
The stimulus bill, called the American Rescue Plan, raised the existing https://www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit child tax credit from $ 2,000 per child to $ 3,000 per child for children over 6 years of age and from $ 2,000 to $ 3,600 for children under 6, while increasing the age limit from 16 to 17. Families benefit from the full credit if they earn up to $ 150,000 for a couple or $ 112,500 for a single parent family .
Since July, the U.S. Treasury has given more than 35 million households $ 250 to $ 300 a month for every child under the age of 18, a policy that some analysts say is already significantly reducing child poverty.
A four-year extension would make it a significant portion of the proposed $ 3.5 trillion spending package that Democratic leaders in Congress are pursuing. Republicans in Congress oppose the legislation as too expensive. Even some Democrats, including Senator Joe Manchin, have questioned its price.
The tax credit is already being felt by the Americans who benefit from it.
Lolitha Maria Scott, a 41-year-old call center worker in Phoenix with five children, described the tax credit as a lifesaver that she believes should continue beyond this year because many working parents like her struggle to keep up with rising rental bills.
“I understand that people say it’s costly on the budget, but it also helps the American people,” Scott said in an interview.
Scott said the policy helped cement his plan to vote for Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who is seeking reelection next year in Arizona.
Jeremy Monk, 43, an occupational therapist in Palm Bay, Florida, expressed concern that paying for such policies could lead to higher taxes in the future. Monk, a Republican, said in an interview that accepting payments made him feel like he was stealing his children’s future.
“It kind of shakes my spine a little bit,” Monk said, adding that he put his tax credit payment into college savings funds for his son and daughter.