The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: child tax credit

WATCH: GOP Senator Schooled By Fox News Host On Child Tax Credit

When Republican senators appear on Fox News or Fox Business and rail against the Build Back Better Act — including the child tax credit — they can usually expect the host to agree with their talking points. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, however, got a surprise during a December 26 appearance on Fox News Sunday (formerly hosted by Chris Wallace) when guest host Mike Emanuel demonstrated that the child tax credit reduces poverty.

Blunt told Emanuel, “We doubled the child tax credit just a handful of years ago, and we need to look at that if that is no longer meeting the need of moving kids out of poverty. But families that make $150,000, for instance, aren’t in poverty in Missouri. I don’t think they’re in poverty almost anywhere in the United States.”

But Emanuel had plenty of data in support of the child tax credit, telling Blunt, “According to the Urban Institute, continuing the benefit could have a significant impact on child poverty, reducing child poverty to about 8.4 percent from 14.2 percent, a fall of roughly 40 percent. Is that a compelling argument to extend it?”

Emanuel also told the Missouri Republican, “Another argument for the child tax credit is it would bolster financial security and spur economic growth in Missouri by reducing taxes on the middle class and those striving to break into it. How do you respond?”

Blunt, however, never really answered Emanuel’s question, slamming the Build Back Better Act as “Build Back Broker” and describing Democrats’ support of the child tax credit as a “gimmick.”

Although the Build Back Better Act has passed in the House, it has been stalled in the Senate — and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, during a Fox News Sunday appearance on December 19, declared that he is still a “no” vote on the BBB Act. It remains to be seen whether or not President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress will be able to come up with a new, altered version of BBB that Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, another centrist Democrat and key swing vote, will agree to support — and what a new version of the bill will propose with the child tax credit.

Watch The Entire Interview Below:

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

Livid With Sen. Manchin, Coal Miners Say He's Turning His Back On Them

After DINO Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) selfishly torpedoed President Biden's Build Back Better plan, sending the markets in a tailspin on Monday and leaving millions of working poor parents out in the cold, the faux democratic Senator did what he always does when opposing a very popular piece of legislation from his own party: run to the media and claim the bill would harm his West Virginia constituents.

Worse yet, Manchin came even closer to becoming a full-blown Republican when he falsely claimed that parents would use the Child Tax Credit to buy drugs. One can make an argument that it's not the government's job to subsidize your family, especially when single working-class Americans aren't getting any such relief, but it's beyond disingenuous and ugly to believe that the monies are being used on drugs.

But the United Mine Workers are telling Manchin it’s time he works for them and support this bill.

"We urge Senator Manchin to revisit his opposition to this legislation and work with his colleagues to pass something that will help keep coal miners working, and have a meaningful impact on our members, their families and their communities,” Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, said in a statement Monday. These workers are justifiably sacred about job security and want help now. Build Back Better, for example, includes several tax incentives—which Manchin's Big Coal donors are fighting—to encourage manufacturers to build new facilities at the coal site and hire unemployed miners.

Manchin's opposition means “the potential for those jobs is significantly threatened,” Roberts said. And Phil Smith, the union’s chief lobbyist, highlighted this provision in an interview with The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, saying the bill would “provide a better chance of helping workers who will be dislocated by our transition to a decarbonized future—a dislocation that will likely continue either way—than not passing BBB will.” Adding, the bill “provides the potential for good jobs that our members who have been dislocated can get,” Smith said

These coal miners are not just upset with Senator Manchin's blatant disregard for the economic livelihoods, but they also believe in voting rights--a provision in BBB--and want him to get on board with that as well.

“I also want to reiterate our support for the passage of voting rights legislation as soon as possible, and strongly encourage Senator Manchin and every other Senator to be prepared to do whatever it takes to accomplish that,” Roberts said in the statement. “Anti-democracy legislators and their allies are working every day to roll back the right to vote in America. Failure by the Senate to stand up to that is unacceptable and a dereliction of their duty to the Constitution.”

In short, these coal miners vigorously believe in the BBB and are not going to let one Senator's massively large ego get in the way of their survival.

Hey, Sen. Manchin! That Child Tax Credit Was Used For Food And Rent, Not Drugs

Sen. Joe Manchin reportedly doesn’t like the expanded child tax credit because parents might use the money to buy drugs. But in reality, he’s getting in the way of parents buying their kids food. That’s the primary way families have been spending the monthly checks, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The expanded child tax credit, included in the American Rescue Plan, gives all but the highest-income families a $250-a-month payment for children aged six to 17, and $300 for children five and under. According to the Census data, 59 percent of families bought food with the money, 52 percent made utility payments, 45 percent paid the rent or the mortgage, 44 percent bought clothing, and 40 percent paid education costs. Nine out of 10 families spent money on at least one of those things. Paying down debt has been another widespread use


Another poll previously found that building emergency savings was a top plan for the money, while routine expenses, essential items for children, and food were runners-up.

Either way, the use of the money for food shows up in data finding a significant drop in food insecurity in households with kids—from 11 percent before the checks started going out to 8.4 percent after. And while people are unlikely to tell a pollster that they’re going to use the money on drugs, Manchin’s insistence that this was likely is a longtime right-wing trope that’s been disproven again and again. When Florida imposed drug testing for welfare benefits, so few people tested positive that the cost of the testing was higher than the number of benefits not distributed. Then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was caught in a false claim that half of the unemployed people were testing positive for drugs, when in fact, of the people tested, less than one percent failed.

Many families in this country are hanging on by their fingernails. They don’t have enough or good enough food, they’re behind on the rent or the mortgage, their kids are outgrowing their clothes and there’s no money for replacements. That can be just as true of families with members working at the poverty-level federal minimum wage—which Manchin worries about raising too much—or of families with members laid-off or unable to work in the still-ongoing pandemic. For these families, the child tax credit has been a lifeline. Manchin has cut off that lifeline based on a lie.

Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

REPORT: Manchin Privately Said Poor Would Use Child Tax Credit To 'Buy Drugs'

Appearing on Fox News last Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia declared that he remains a “no” vote on the Build Back Better Act of 2021 — a declaration that has infuriated many of his fellow Democrats. The centrist senator cited the cost of the bill and worries about inflation as reasons why he isn’t supporting the bill, but according to HuffPost reporters Tara Golshan and Arthur Delaney, he has privately said that he doesn’t trust poor people to use money wisely.

“In recent months,” Golshan and Delaney report, “Manchin has told several of his fellow Democrats that he thought parents would waste monthly child tax credit payments on drugs instead of providing for their children, according to two sources familiar with the senator’s comments. Continuing the child tax credit for another year is a core part of the Build Back Better legislation that Democrats had hoped to pass by the end of the year. The policy has already cut child poverty by nearly 30 percent.”

The reporters add, “Manchin’s private comments shocked several senators, who saw it as an unfair assault on his own constituents and those struggling to raise children in poverty. Manchin has also told colleagues he believes that Americans would fraudulently use the proposed paid sick leave policy, specifically saying people would feign being sick and go on hunting trips, a source familiar with his comments told HuffPost.”

President Joe Biden and Democrat in Congress have spent months negotiating with Manchin and another very centrist Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, over the Build Back Better Act, trying to determine what it will take to get them to vote for it. But when Manchin appeared on Fox News on December 19, it was painfully obvious that their efforts to persuade him hadn’t worked.

In an official statement that followed that Fox News appearance, Manchin said, “My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face. I cannot take that risk with a staggering debt of more than $29 trillion and inflation taxes that are real and harmful to every hard-working American at the gasoline pumps, grocery stores and utility bills with no end in sight.”

Golshan and Delaney point out that according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 91 percent of low-income households have been using the child tax credit for essential things such as food, clothing and school supplies. That data, according to Golshan and Delaney, counters the claim that the poor frequently use financial help to buy drugs.

“The concern that some parents would use the benefit for drugs echoes years of conservative talking points on welfare,” Golshan and Delaney note. “During Barack Obama’s presidency, Republicans in Congress and state legislatures around the country sought to add drug testing to requirements to nutrition assistance, unemployment benefits and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides monthly cash benefits to poor parents.”

Manchin Berates Reporter After Getting Called Out On Efforts To Kill Popular Build Back Better Provision

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia got a little touchy Wednesday when it was revealed he wanted to kill the child tax credit in the Democrats' Build Back Better bill.

"Talks between Manchin and Biden are NOT going well on Build Back Better, per source familiar with talks," tweeted CNN reporter Manu Raju. "A huge sticking point: the Child Tax Credit. Manchin wants it cut. Source says he wants to 'zero it out.' They are 'very far apart,' source says."

The current version of President Joe Biden's signature piece of legislation includes a one-year extension of Democrats’ child tax credit, originally included in pandemic relief, that amounts to payments of as much as $300 per child per month. It is credited with substantially reducing child poverty rates nationwide and enabling millions of American families to afford basics like food, clothing, and housing. The last of those payments went out Dec. 15 and, without them, families across the country aren't sure what they will do.

That is particularly true in West Virginia, where multiple outlets have reported on families who have absolutely depended on that federal help during the pandemic to make ends meet. Many of those West Virginia families include households headed by grandparents.

But Manchin's bid to unilaterally strike the provision is not only unconscionable in terms of his own constituency, it's an act of sheer hubris. Many Democrats consider the expanded child tax credit provision essential.

“It’s not going to get zeroed out,” Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio told CNN. “That’s non-negotiable.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts echoed the sentiment: “We need the child tax credit. It has cut childhood poverty in America by nearly half.”

It didn't take long for Sen. Manchin to get a little testy over being pressed on the matter—testy to the point where he simply resorted to calling a reporter "bullshit."

Asked by HuffPost reporter Arthur Delaney if it was true that he wanted to cut out the child tax credit from the Build Back Better bill, Manchin responded, “I've always been for child tax credits.”

It was a dodge since the Democratic provision included in BBB is an expansion of an existing credit from $2,000 per child to $3,600 for kids under 6 and $3,000 for kids aged 6 to 17. The Democrats’ tax credit also wasn’t subject to a work requirement and was fully refunded in advanced monthly payments.

So Delaney followed up, asking Manchin more specifically whether he wants to continue the current child tax credit by paying parents $300 per month. It didn’t go well.

“This is bullshit,” Manchin said. “You’re bullshit.”

According to HuffPost, that puts Manchin to the right of Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who is reportedly among a handful of GOP senators who support extending the expanded tax credit.

“I think if BBB does not pass, there will surely be an effort to have a temporary measure or a narrow measure to move more quickly,” Romney said.

Senate Democrats have been trying to get Biden’s signature families and climate crisis bill through the upper chamber by Christmas. But as Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii noted, the real problem isn’t the time crunch.

"It's not so much the calendar,” Hirono said. “If we wanted to do it, we would do it. But I think there's still some issues with a person."

That person is currently trying to gut the bill of one of its most precious provisions. But whatever you do, don’t cry bullshit on his effort.

Republicans Launch Attack On 'Imaginary' Version Of Build Back Better Bill

Congressional Republicans are warning that President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan could cost a lot more — if it contained a lot of provisions that it does not contain.

Rather than explain their opposition to what's in the popular climate and caregiving infrastructure package, they are instead attacking a nonexistent proposal to spend trillions of dollars more.

On Friday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation released an estimate of what it called "a modified version of H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, that would make various policies permanent rather than temporary

."The budget office took provisions of the actual bill, such as the child tax credit and Medicaid expansion, and assessed how much more it would cost if each were to be extended for all time. Doing so would make the ten-year $1.75 trillion plan into a $4.9 trillion bill and would require additional revenue or deficit spending, the budget office found.

GOP lawmakers seized on the CBO's theoretical projections to falsely assert that the numbers reflected the real price of the Build Back Better spending package.

"The true cost of the bill has more than doubled and the effect on the deficit is eightfold," argued Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who sits on the Senate Budget Committee.

"Today’s CBO score exposes the budget gimmicks Democrats have been using to hide the true cost of their tax & spending plan," wrote Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), the top Republican on the House Budget Committee. "CBO has confirmed their bill spends $4.9 trillion and adds $3 trillion to the debt – trillions more than Democrats claimed."

"The Congressional Budget Office found that the actual cost of Biden's spending bill is $3 TRILLION in new deficit spending," claimed Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).

"On the same day news broke that inflation has hit a nearly 40-year high, the CBO announces the true cost of the #BuildBackBroke agenda," said Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL). "$3 TRILLION. Americans can't afford Washington's spending problems."

In a press release, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) mocked Graham and his GOP colleagues for hyping the "CBO score of an imaginary bill."

"Congress and President Biden have made clear: any future extensions of the life-changing provisions of Build Back Better will be fully paid for, as they are today," Pelosi said in a statement.

Graham and Smith requested the analysis last month, demanding that it be completed before the House voted on the package, but Democrats passed the package nonetheless. The resolution now waits for a vote in the Senate.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Biden 'Framework' Details Historic Investments In Climate, Child Care And Much More

President Joe Biden announced a new framework for his Build Back Better jobs plan on Thursday. Though the $1.75 trillion package is not as large as he originally envisioned, it would still include historic investments to address climate change and caregiving infrastructure.

The largest item in the package would be $555 billion for clean energy and fighting climate change. The administration called it "the largest effort to combat climate change in American history" and "the largest single investment in our clean energy economy in history, across buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, agriculture, and climate-smart practices across lands and waters."

This comes after an August report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group dedicated to climate change science, which delivered a "code red" warning, stating that scientists have reached the conclusion that humans are driving global warming and that without immediate action, it will have "profound consequences for the world's social, economic and natural systems.

"With the $555 billion investment, the White House says the United States would be on track for its goal of a 50 percent --52 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The funds would be an addition to the investment in clean energy grid and electric vehicle infrastructure contained in the bipartisan $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which previously passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House. Climate advocates say that too will provide "really great first steps" and some "really great second steps" on the issue.

The revised $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan also includes a $400 billion investment in affordable child care and two years of free pre-K education. According to the White House, this will "save most American families more than half of their spending on child care" and will "increase the likelihood that parents, especially mothers, are employed or enrolled in education and training beyond high school."

It would make permanent the expanded child tax credit for more than 35 million families. That credit of up to $300 a month per kid — enacted for 2021 as part of Biden's American Rescue Plan — has already lifted an estimated 3 million children out of poverty.

Other items included in the framework include $150 billion to increase affordable housing, $150 billion for home care, $130 billion to cover millions more uninsured Americans under the Affordable Care Act, and $35 billion to add hearing benefits to Medicare. It also includes immigration reform provisions, assuming they survive the Senate's arcane budget reconciliation rules.

Democrats say the plan will be fully paid for by establishing 15 percent minimum taxes for large corporations, a tax increase on the wealthiest 0.02 percent of Americans, a crackdown on rich tax evaders and loopholes used by millionaires to avoid taxes, and a few other offsets. It would not increase taxes on anyone earning under $400,000.

With Republicans in both chambers firmly opposed to Biden's popular original $3.5 trillion package and a handful of conservative Democrats unwilling to accept that price tag, the White House and the rest of the congressional Democrats were forced to scale back some priorities. Proposals to invest billions more in free community college and paid family and medical leave — and to reduce the costs of prescription drugs through price negotiations — will not be part of this package.

Despite claims that the plan will "add trillions of dollars to the debt," the new version will likely reduce the annual budget deficit. The White House estimates that the offsets could bring in nearly $2 trillion, potentially bringing down the deficit by $145 billion to $245 billion.

Because the package would be considered under budget reconciliation rules, which are not subject to a filibuster, Democrats can enact this framework without any Republican support.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the new climate investments add to the $550 billion for clean energy and electric vehicles in the separate infrastructure package. It has been corrected to note that the $550 billion is the full total of the entire infrastructure package, not the clean energy and electric vehicle funding.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Big Media Failure: Voters Have Little Idea What’s In ‘Build Back Better’

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

Leaning into the doomsday narrative that President Joe Biden's agenda and presidency is slipping away as Democrats work to pass both a huge infrastructure bill and even bigger social spending bill, dubbed Build Back Better, the Beltway press continues to do a great job ignoring the contents of the historic effort.
Read Now Show less