Congress Struggles to Make a Deal, Child Tax Credit Hopes Fade


Despite early optimism during the ongoing lame-duck session, Congressional lawmakers are struggling to make a deal that would extend the expanded child tax credit.
Photo bySiri Stafford/Getty Images

Last month, several Senators seemed confident that the GOP would cut a deal with Democrats to revive the expanded child tax credit (CTC), which was part of the American Rescue Plan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) told reporters, "There's going to be a clear debate about tax choices, and this whole debate about child tax credit is front and center on that discussion."

Wyden indicated he -- and other members of President Biden's party -- would support some tax breaks if a deal could be reached.

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Ritchie Torres of New York, and Suzan DelBene of Washington, have been particularly vocal proponents of the expanded credit.

Bennet told Axios, "It is a priority for the White House and it's absolutely a priority for me. We should have never allowed it to sunset, and I think we can find a way at the end of the year."

It is worth noting that there has also been Republican support for some type of extension. In July, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) was joined by two other Senators in introducing the Family Security Act 2.0.

Republicans have been seeking an extension of soon-to-expire business tax breaks affecting research and development costs, investment deductions, and debt write-offs.
Photo byGrant Faint/Getty Images

Now, however, The Wall Street Journal has shared that hopes of a deal are fading.

The news outlet noted:

With just a few weeks remaining before the new Congress starts Jan. 3, key members of Congress haven’t agreed to any such deal, lawmakers and aides said. And even if they do reach an agreement, it would likely need to be included in a broad federal-spending package—which also is stalled.

Unless a last-minute compromise can be reached, many businesses will pay higher taxes and the child tax credit will remain at its current level.

A September 2022 report from the Census Bureau notes that the nationwide poverty rate fell to 7.8% in 2021, the lowest level on record. This was largely due to pandemic-related stimulus payments, including the expanded CTC.

The Census Bureau's data indicates that child poverty fell by approximately half, with the child tax credit playing a major role.
Photo byJoseph Sohm - Visions of America/Getty Images

You can learn more about the Child Tax Credit on its official White House information page.

What do you think about the odds of extending the expanded child tax credit?

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