Senior Democrats are unveiling a plan to give American families $3,000 per child 6-17 and $3,600 per child under 6 in another stimulus package, paid out $250 or $300 monthly starting in July, The Washington Post reported.
The proposal, aimed at addressing child poverty, is a piece of Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, laid out in 22 pages of a bill obtained by the Post.
Like past coronavirus impact stimulus payments, the benefits would phase down for Americans making more than $75,000 per year and couples earning more than $150,000 per year.
House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., is leading the effort and comes as Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, after meeting with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on the $1.9 trillion plan, made his own proposal to send more per child.
"The pandemic is driving families deeper and deeper into poverty, and it's devastating," Rep. Neal wrote in a statement. "This money is going to be the difference in a roof over someone’s head or food on their table
"This is how the tax code is supposed to work for those who need it most."
Fiscal conservatives might opposed the plan as a form of socialized welfare, particularly if families who are not struggling amid the pandemic lockdowns are still receiving benefits they might not need, the Post noted.
The plan is designed to be a one-time program, but Democrats have also talked of making it a permanent plan later in the year, per the report.
"Of all the policy issues being discussed this Congress, of all the things we are working on, the biggest impact we can make for economic justice in our country — and enact measurable transformational change — lies within this policy that would slash child poverty," Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., told the Post.
The payments would begin July 1, giving the Biden administration time to set up the program, which will be based on the prior year's income level.
The Romney plan would send the payment to all families through the Social Security Program, but families making more money last year would have to pay it back come tax time.
The phased approach of Biden's plan puts the onus of payment on the IRS, which will be left to determine which families receive the benefits and at which amounts, as dictated by the prior year income.
"Since these things cannot be known in advance, the IRS is being instructed to assume each family's situation is exactly the same as it was the last time they filed taxes," People's Policy Project founder Matt Bruenig told the Post. "Many families whose circumstances change will end up receiving lower monthly payments than they are eligible for — or find themselves with a massive surprise tax bill at the end of the year."
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