Sen. Mitt Romney wants to give a financial boost to families with children.
The Hill reports that the Republican lawmaker from Utah revealed a proposal that would send monthly payments to families with children.
"This proposal offers a path toward greater security for America’s families by consolidating the many complicated programs to create a monthly cash benefit for them, without adding to the deficit,” Romney said in a news release unveiling his plan.
Romney’s plan would replace the existing child tax credit with monthly payments of $350 for children ages 5 and under. The payment would decrease to $250 for children ages 6 to 17. The payments would cap off at $1,250 a month.
According to the proposal, all children with Social Security numbers would be eligible for the payments. Parents would be able to start receiving the benefit four months before a child’s due date.
The same income phaseout thresholds for the current child tax credit would apply to the proposed monthly payments. That means payment amount would phase out for single tax filers with income above $200,000 and married couples with income above $400,000.
The monthly payments would be issued through the Social Security Administration. Any discrepancies from over or underpayments would be handled with the IRS when tax returns are filed.
In order to fund the proposal, Romney suggested eliminating some federal programs that could be considered duplicative if his plan is approved. He calls for the elimination of the head-of-household filing status, the child and dependent care tax credit, and temporary assistance for needy families.
Romney also proposes reducing the cost of the earned income tax credit and repealing the state and local tax deduction, which was already limited by the Trump administration’s 2017 tax cut law. He claims that families who used the deduction would be better off under his plan.
According to the Niskanen Center, a group that advocates for a child allowance, Romney’s plan would reduce U.S. child poverty by about one-third.
The Hill reports that Democrats are expected to push back on the way Romney plans to finance his idea. But the pitch shows that there may be bipartisan interest in tackling child poverty.
White House chief of staff Ronald Klain tweeted that he was “looking forward” to Romney’s proposal, calling it an “encouraging sign that bipartisan action to reduce child poverty IS possible.”
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