Democrats vow to push for permanent child tax credit expansion

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
Greg Nash

Key Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday said they were going to continue to push for the full expansion of the child tax credit (CTC) to be made permanent, after President Biden released a proposal that would only cement a part of the expansion while extending other parts through 2025.

“This proposal would extend Democrats’ expansions of the child and earned income tax credits, which have the potential to transform the lives of a generation of children and workers,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement. “My goal is a permanent extension of these credits, and I will be fighting for as long of an extension as we can pass through the Senate.”

Biden on Wednesday rolled out a $1.8 trillion package focused on helping families, $800 billion of which consists of extending temporary tax credit expansions that were established by coronavirus relief legislation enacted earlier this year.

The plan would make permanent a portion of the CTC expansion that allows the credit to be fully available to the lowest-income families. But it would only extend the increase in the amount of the credit, from $2,000 per child to as much as $3,600 per child, through 2025.

The plan would also make permanent an expansion of the earned income tax credit for childless workers, as well as the child and dependent care tax credit.

Permanently expanding the CTC has long been a priority for Democratic lawmakers across the ideological spectrum, who argue that doing so would substantially reduce child poverty. However, doing so could be quite expensive, and the White House may want to contain the cost of the president’s proposal.

After news reports last week had indicated that the credit expansion would only be extended through 2025, many Democratic lawmakers pressed the administration to instead make the expansion permanent. The fact that Biden’s plan makes a portion of the expansion permanent indicates that the White House recognizes that permanence is a priority for lawmakers.

Lawmakers said that they were encouraged by Biden’s plan to partially make the CTC expansion credit permanent, but they said that they still wanted legislation based on the president’s plan to indefinitely extend the entirely of the credit expansion.

“We need to go a step further and make the Child Tax Credit expansion permanent,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a member of the Finance Committee, said. “The president supports this goal, and we can’t afford to wait to get it done.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said that his committee would explore how to proceed with making permanent the CTC expansion, as well as permanent expansions of other credits.

“I think we can do so while still responsibly investing in other top priorities,” he said.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said that she plans to work with Neal “to enact our shared desire to include a permanent extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit in the final bill.” 

Updated at 5:22 p.m.

Tags Biden address to Congress biden administration Child tax credit IRS Joe Biden Michael Bennet Richard Neal Ron Wyden Rosa DeLauro taxes

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