Washington Post – It is hard to believe the White House and progressives offered to cut their key legislative package in half (from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion) to accommodate Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) without first reaching an agreement that what’s left of the package would pass. But that appears to have been the case. Now, Manchin is using his leverage to extract a concession that makes no political or policy sense. Read the full op-ed.
Manchin is reportedly insisting that the child tax cut is zeroed out unless its full 10-year cost ($1.4 trillion) is paid for — even though the benefit extends only through the end of 2022 (while making it permanently refundable). Understand that the package does not provide that the child tax credit will continue for 10 years, and Biden is on record as saying any subsequent extensions of the package will have to be paid for. That’s not good enough for Manchin. Manchin also says he wants this and other benefits to be “means-tested,” even though it already phases out for higher-income parents.
Democrats are understandably incensed. The child tax credit might be the most successful anti-poverty program in recent memory, cutting the child poverty rate in half. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds, “An estimated 9.9 million children are at risk of slipping back below the poverty line or deeper into poverty if the expansion is not extended.”