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Manchin Told White House Child Tax Credit Must Include Work Requirement, Income Cap: Report

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) presides during a nominations hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 21, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Senator Joe Manchin (W., Va.) has warned the White House that an extension of the child tax credit must include a work requirement and a family income cap at $60,000 in order to pass, according to a new report. 

People familiar with the matter reportedly told Axios that the moderate Democrat has suggested including limits on the child tax credit, which would help reduce the overall cost of Democrats’ massive social spending package, though it is unclear by how much. Democrats need the votes of all 50 senators in their caucus — including Manchin — to pass the bill via budget reconciliation, which requires a simple majority.

Democrats are hoping to make permanent monthly child tax credits that were first expanded under the COVID-19 relief package Biden signed in March. The legislation expanded the payments beginning in July, for one year. The expanded credits give most families with young children up to $3,600 a year, an increase from the previous $2,000, via monthly deposits that go straight to recipients’ bank accounts. 

Families receive $300 monthly for each child under the age of six and $250 for a child between the age of six and 17. Biden also extended the child tax credits to households that didn’t have any taxable income.

The program would cost $450 billion to extend it for the four years Biden has proposed, and an estimated $1.6 trillion over 10 years, according to Axios.

Manchin said last month that while he supports child tax credits and that he is “trying to help the children,” that he believes it should be targeted toward low-income families and should feature a work requirement.

“You want to help the children and the parents that are basically providing for those children,” Manchin said during an appearance on CNN. “There’s no work requirements whatsoever. 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?”

Meanwhile, a recent poll by Politico/Morning Consult showed that 52 percent of respondents did not think the child tax credits should be extended. 

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