Manchin declares Build Back Better Bill dead, dashing hopes for beefed up child tax credit


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Biden’s spending bill may well be collapsing after all.

Key points

  • Sen. Joe Manchin has made it clear that he will not support Biden’s massive spending bill.
  • If the bill fails, the enhanced child tax credit could be scrapped for 2022.

For several weeks now, President Biden’s Build Back Better bill has been stalled in the Senate. To push the bill forward, Biden hoped to garner support from Democratic lawmakers. But one member of that party — West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — has voiced his opposition to the bill from the start. And on February 1, he made a pretty somber proclamation about the future of the bill.

Is Build Back Better ruined?

Senator Manchin finally came out and declared the Build Back Better Bill dead. And while his opposition to the bill isn’t shocking, that statement is a harsh dose of reality for Biden, who had been banking on brokering a solution.

But the news isn’t just bad for Biden. It’s also a blow to the millions of Americans who expected to see child tax credit payments in their bank accounts increase this year.

Last year, the enhanced Child Tax Credit helped lift millions of children out of poverty and allowed many households to shore up their finances after the pandemic hit. It also allowed many families to meet their essential living costs during a wave of runaway inflation.

By removing Build Back Better, Manchin could effectively end up taking the enhanced child tax credit off the table for 2022. In the enhanced version, the credit was capped at $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 $ for those aged 6 to 17. Without this boost in place, credit will cap at $2,000 across the board.

Families simply aren’t losing money if the enhanced child tax credit is gone for 2022. They will also have to wait a long time to get it.

Typically, tax credits are claimed on tax returns and paid in a lump sum when a refund is due. Last year, half of the increased Child Tax Credit was paid in monthly installments that began in July and ended in December. The hope, initially, was that these monthly payments would continue throughout 2022, giving recipients access to a steady stream of income. But if credit returns to its previous state, those monthly payments will no longer be on the table.

Could lawmakers save the beefed up child tax credit?

Senator Manchin has made it clear that there is no point in further negotiating the Build Back Better Bill as it stands. But that doesn’t mean Biden and his administration can’t split the spending bill into smaller parts and attempt to push through each one individually. Some aspects of Build Back Better could indeed come to fruition.

Unfortunately, one of Manchin’s main sticking points has always been the increase in the child tax credit. If lawmakers attempt to draft specific legislation for credit itself, they may struggle to get it passed.

While Manchin may be swayed to extend enhanced credit under the right criteria (he wants to implement a work requirement for families to qualify), the senator says he has other pressing issues he wants to address. first. These include inflation, the pandemic, and the country’s debt. But while these are clearly important topics, the reality is that the enhanced child tax credit has been a lifeline for families, and if lawmakers don’t make it a priority, many people could suffer financially. This year.

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