Story at a glance
- White House Chief of Staff confirmed that the Biden administration wants to keep the increases in child tax breaks post-pandemic.
- Research suggests this could raise income for financially vulnerable homes.
Since the far-reaching COVID-19 relief bill was passed last week, households have now been able to receive $3,000 in tax credits for dependent children between the ages of six to 17, and another $3,600 for each child under the age of six. And these benefits could be here to stay, the White House Chief of Staff said Sunday.
This is a jump from the standard $2,000 credit available to taxpayers who claim children on their returns. Additionally, 17-year-olds are included as dependents for the first time, and residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories can also claim these benefits.
Unlike other provisions in the COVID-19 relief bill — including renewed stimulus checks, funding towards vaccine distributions and more subsidies for health care insurance — the Biden administration aims to make the enhancement in Child Tax Credits permanent after the pandemic.
Speaking to Mehdi Hasan on MSNBC, White House chief of staff Ron Klain discussed President Biden’s plans to lay the groundwork for sustained support for families who are struggling financially.
“Some provisions of this bill are temporary by design,” Kalin said. “Dealing with the child poverty problem on a permanent basis is an important objective for us.”
The updates in the Child Tax Credit are set to expire in a year. Klain also said the Biden administration is pushing to prioritize veterans’ health systems and more small business job creation.
“I think the fundamental message of the American Rescue Plan is that the economy grows when we help people at the bottom work their way up and when we help people in the middle grow from the middle out,” he continued.
Hasan cited studies that the various stimulus payments issued by the government to financially vulnerable households could result in a 20 percent increase in income.
Other Democrats have recently voiced support on cementing new tax breaks for households with children, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said he also supports increases to the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps middle to lower-income workers.
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy notes that these tax credit expansions can help lift about 5 million children out of poverty.
Additional benefits, such as expansions lasting until the end of 2021 in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and unemployment insurance benefits, are also included in this research.