Manchin has said the program should have a work requirement and be better targeted to people with less income. Under current law, it begins phasing out for individuals making $200,000 per year or couples filing taxes jointly who make more than $400,000.
Manchin also pressed for lower total spending in the budget package and funding fewer programs for a full decade or longer, both demands that complicate the child tax credit expansion, which represents a significant chunk of the package’s cost. The one-year cost of the 2021 credit expansion was $109 billion, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated; extending full refundability and other features permanently could cost $1.6 trillion unless other offsets or benefit trims are included.
One child credit advocate, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said at a Tuesday news conference that he doesn’t believe Manchin has closed the door to discussions on an expanded credit moving as part of the reconciliation bill. Bennet said proponents of the more generous credit are open to means-testing it, for example.
“I think we would all agree that we’d all be comfortable with the income level being lower than it has been,” he said. “I certainly would.”
The group of child credit advocates who spoke Tuesday — which also included Sens. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sherrod Brown of Ohio along with Reps. Suzan DelBene of Washington and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut — was less open to work requirements. They said it’s critical that people with disabilities, parents caring for children with disabilities, single mothers and grandparents get full access.
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