Child Tax Credit: As Ohio Sen. Brown and Others Push for Expansion, What Hurdles Remain?

That figure seems worrying.
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The clock is ticking on efforts by Congressional Democrats to pass legislation before Republicans take over the U.S. House in 2023, and some lawmakers are working hard to approve a bill that would permanently expand the Child Tax Credit.

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Among those leading the effort is Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). On Wednesday, Brown held a press conference demanding that the expanded CTC be included in spending/tax bills Congress aims to pass before the end of the year. The bill he proposes would allow for an extension of corporate tax breaks as long as a beefed-up CTC is included, Spectrum News reported.

“No corporate tax cuts without the child tax credit,” Brown said. “The deal is on the table.”

As previously reported by GOBankingRates, the 2021 American Rescue Plan expanded the CTC from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six, and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six. It also raised the age limit from 16 to 17 years old. But the expanded credit expired at the end of 2021, and subsequent efforts to revive it have fallen short.

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Supporters of the expanded CTC point to its impact on poverty — Census Bureau data showed it cut the country’s child poverty rate by 46%. Under the current, non-expanded CTC, nearly 19 million of the poorest children receive less than the full benefit, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Renewing the expanded CTC won’t be easy, however. At least 10 Senate Republicans would have to agree to pass such a measure, as well as Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona who have resisted expanding the CTC without some kind of parental work agreement attached.

“Whatever it takes, we’ve got to convince enough Republicans to go along with it,” Brown told Spectrum News. “They want tax cuts for corporations. I want to see tax cuts for the 90% of Ohio families that benefit from this.”

Overcoming these hurdles means reaching compromise on other measures — including tax credits favorable to business — in a broader spending bill. As The Hill reported, Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia “both have openness” to a bill that might include a beefed-up child tax credit, according to Adam Ruben of the Economic Security Project.

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“We think there’s openness from [Sen. Lisa] Murkowski (R-Alaska) and [Sen. Susan] Collins (R-Maine) as well,” Ruben told The Hill, adding that Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Steve Daines of Montana might also be open to negotiation.

The biggest card Democrats hold is requiring that an expanded CTC be included in any bill that also includes business tax credits, Colorado Public Radio reported. For example, many Democratic lawmakers said they will not support a business-friendly research and development tax credit without also getting a vote on the CTC.

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“Our task is clear: No R&D without CTC,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said at a Wednesday meeting of Democratic Senators and House members.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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