Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is proposing an income cap of $60,000 per year for families eligible to receive the enhanced credit.
This would mean that more than 37 million children across the country would lose access to the credit, which currently offers $300 per month to qualifying children under 6 years old and $250 per month for children ages 6 and up.
Read more: Child Tax Credit: Updates in 2022
A meeting between President Biden and congressional Democrats led to several proposed cuts in the plan. Free community college, state and local tax deductions and the carbon tax could be completely slashed.
The advance Child Care Credit could be extended for just one year instead of the initially planned four, Politico.com reported. The credit would still be fully refundable, though. It would also likely go back to the prior level of $2,000 per child six and older — not $3,000.
Manchin’s upper income limit of $60,000 to receive the credit, however, does not take into account families of varying sizes or the higher costs of living in many cities and regions.
When you look at the median income in these cities, 38 fall under Manchin’s $60,000 threshold.
However, that’s just the median, which could leave close to 50% of all families potentially exceeding that $60,000 income mark — but still not reaching the income level to live comfortably with kids.
Even in cities where salaries skew higher, more than 50% of people are barely “making it” financially.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, which has a median income of $58,202, to live comfortably as a homeowner, you’d need to earn at least $80,071, while renters need $82,999. Austin. Texas’ median income of $63,717 for individuals exceeds Manchin’s upper limit for the child tax credit, yet homeowners need $98,007 to live comfortably in the up-and-coming tech hub, while renters can get by on $94,455.
By reducing the upper income limits for the CTC, Manchin’s proposal does not take into account the cost of living in different areas, different size families or the amount of money it actually takes to avoid poverty in the U.S. today.
The “Build Back Better” legislation is being presented to Congress as a budget reconciliation bill, which eliminates the 60-vote filibuster threshold and allows the legislation to pass with a simple 50% + 1 majority.
Democrats would like to see the bill passed through the reconciliation process by October 31, 2021, which could mean several compromises in regard to the programs it will pay for and to what extent.
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