Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia came under fire this week from progressives after his intent to place an income threshold of $60,000 on child tax credit payments. These payments have been crucial to sustaining families during the pandemic.
Since July families have received $300 per child under 6 and $250 per child between 6 and 17.
Democrats have been debating about the future of the payments, and whether they should continue beyond 2021.
Child tax credit payments could be cut off to 37 million children
The Niskanen Center says the change would mean 37.4 million children no longer benefit from the child tax credit payments.
Currently, any family that earns less than $150,000 per year is eligible or the child tax credit payments. The benefit was expanded from $2,000 to $3,600 per child in the American Rescue Plan. That was signed into law in March by President Joe Biden.
Half of the tax credit is being paid out in monthly checks issued by the IRS. While the other half will be claimable on 2021 tax returns.
A work requirement has been debated by Republicans and Democrats as a compromise to continuing the child tax credit benefit beyond this year. However, progressive opposition to that has indicated the most vulnerable Americans need the funding and are often unemployed. Worse yet, many Americans are suffering from underemployment – a phenomenon brought on by a large volume of low wage jobs.