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Romney proposes monthly payments for families with children

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGraham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Democratic centrists flex power on Biden legislation Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday unveiled a proposal to provide monthly payments to families with children.

The proposal comes as many Democrats have similarly expressed interest in providing payments to families with children on a monthly basis.

"This proposal offers a path toward greater security for America’s families by consolidating the many complicated programs to create a monthly cash benefit for them, without adding to the deficit,” Romney said in a news release.

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Under Romney's proposal, the existing child tax credit would be replaced with monthly payments of $350 for children ages 5 and under and $250 for children ages 6 to 17. Families would be capped at monthly payments of $1,250.

All children with Social Security numbers would be eligible for the payments, and parents would also be eligible to apply to start getting the benefit four months before a child's due date.

The payment amounts phase out for single tax filers with income above $200,000 and married couples with income above $400,000 — the same income phaseout thresholds for the current child tax credit. The Social Security Administration would administer the monthly payments, and people would reconcile any overpayments or underpayments with the IRS when they filed their tax returns.

Romney would offset the cost of his proposal by eliminating some federal programs that he argues would be duplicative with his child allowance, including the head-of-household filing status, the child and dependent care tax credit and temporary assistance for needy families.

He also proposes reducing the cost of the earned income tax credit. Additionally, he proposes repealing the state and local tax deduction, which was already limited by President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE's 2017 tax cut law, arguing that most families that previously claimed the deduction will still be better off under his proposal.

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The Niskanen Center, a group that advocates for a child allowance, estimated that Romney's plan would reduce U.S. child poverty by about one-third.

Romney released his proposal amid the debate over another coronavirus relief package. President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package includes an expansion of the child tax credit, and many Democratic lawmakers would like the IRS to be able to provide advance payments of the credit to households on a monthly basis.

Democrats are unlikely to support the ways that Romney finances his proposal. But the Utah Republican's proposal is an indication of the bipartisan interest in taken action to reduce child poverty.

"Really looking forward to see what @SenatorRomney will propose here — an encouraging sign that bipartisan action to reduce child poverty IS possible," White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain tweeted.