Republican Senator Josh Hawley will propose a bill that would allocate $6,000 in tax credits to single parents and $12,000 in tax credits for married parents with children under the age of 13.
“Starting a family and raising children should not be a privilege only reserved for the wealthy,” Hawley said in a statement. “Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences. American families should be supported, no matter how they choose to care for their kids.”
Hawley’s proposal would award a tax credit to parents with earnings of $7,540 and above, amounting to 20 hours of work per week at the federal minimum wage. The earnings benchmark requirement will be the same for single and married parents. The tax credit is fully refundable and the policy also includes a “marriage bonus.”
Families could claim up to $2,000 per child as a tax credit until this year. However, under the former arrangement many low-income families were not eligible to receive the full benefit because their earnings did not meet the minimum threshold to qualify.
After the coronavirus relief bill passed in Congress, the tax credit was expanded to poorer families and increased to $3,600 for each child up to age six and $3,000 for older children up to age 17.
The policy would deliver payments via the IRS, which has been directed to develop an online portal for recipient households to input information. The plan also allows families to forgo the monthly payments for a lump sum when they file their federal taxes.
In addition to Hawley, Republican Senator Mitt Romney has also championed pro-family legislation. With the economy stagnating due to the coronavirus and American birth and marriage rates declining, Romney has proposed the Family Security Act, which includes permanent monthly payments to American households.
“American families are facing greater financial strain, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and marriage and birth rates are at an all-time low,” Romney said in a statement. “On top of that, we have not comprehensively reformed our family support system in nearly three decades, and our changing economy has left millions of families behind.”