Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says that President Joe Biden's massive social spending bill must meet new demands for expanded child tax credit.
Manchin told White House officials the child tax credit must include a firm work requirement, and family income cap in the $60,000 range, Axios reported Sunday.
The child tax credit is one of Biden's key programs to assist working families in a bill originally projected to cost $3.5 trillion, which Manchin and fellow moderate, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said was too high.
Progressives, however, will likely not agree with Manchin's latest version of the child tax credit, Axios reported.
Manchin previously called for work requirements for the child tax credit in the spending bill. He also wants "means testing" to place a cap on the income of people who can receive benefits under the program.
"I want work requirements for everything," Manchin told reporters late last month. "Means testing and work requirements."
He has said that while he supports the child tax credits and is "trying to help the children," he wants to "make sure we're getting it to the right people."
"There's no work requirements whatsoever," Manchin told CNN on Sept. 12. "There's no education requirements whatsoever for better skill sets. Don't you think, if we're going to help the children, that the people should make some effort?"
Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in March that funded the child tax credit program for one year and gives most families up to $3,600 annually, instead of $2,000, and directly deposits the payments into bank accounts.
Axios reported that Manchin signaled he was willing to support Biden’s $450 billion initiative to subsidize day care and provide free universal preschool. The report said Manchin wants tighter income caps to be placed on day care subsidies, but to keep preschool free.
The New York Times and CNN reported Friday that the Clean Electricity Payment Program, key to Democrats' fight against climate change, likely would be removed from the reconciliation package because of Manchin's opposition — something that infuriated progressives.
Manchin also has said the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal money to fund abortions, must be included in the spending package.
Axios said neither Manchin nor Sinema were ready to accept Biden's new compromise spending bill cost of between $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion.
Senate Democrats plan to pass Biden's social spending bill via the reconciliation bill — by simple majority and bypassing the filibuster — but they need both Manchin and Sinema to do so.
Sinema told lawmakers she will not vote for the social spending plan until the House passes the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, Reuters reported.
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