Politics

Do Republicans And Democrats Actually Agree On Giving People With Kids Money?

Democrats are pushing for $3,000-per-child benefit for millions of families, days after Republican Sen. Mitt Romney introduced a plan for monthly child relief payments.

Democrats are pushing for $3,000-per-child benefit for millions of families, days after Republican Sen. Mitt Romney introduced a plan for monthly child relief payments. | Getty Images
Democrats are pushing for $3,000-per-child benefit for millions of families, days after Republican Sen. Mitt Romney introduced a plan for monthly child relief payments. | Getty Images

Congressional Democrats on Monday introduced legislation to fill a gap where the United States has historically lagged behind other developed nations: providing ample monthly child care benefits. 

The proposed legislation came after Democrats in both chambers last week worked to advance President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package by opening a path to passing it without Republican support. Biden called for increased child care tax credits in his relief plan. 

“By paying it out monthly, this money is going to be the difference in a roof over someone's head or food on their table,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), chair of the Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement to CNN.

NowThis reached out to Neal’s office and the House Ways and Means Committee for comment. 

Separately, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — who as New York Magazine noted once said he was “not concerned about the very poor” while running for president in 2012 — last week also proposed a child benefit program. Romney’s Family Security Act would provide “$350 a month for each young child, and $250 a month for each school-aged child.” Under the plan, families could collect up to $1,250 a month, and could begin collecting the money within four months of a child’s due date. 

Vox reported that “Romney doesn’t want his plan to add to the deficit, and he wants to simplify the set of child-related benefits the government currently offers. So his plan would pay for the child allowance by eliminating a number of other programs, including some that mostly benefit the poor.” 

Currently, the child care tax credit in the U.S. is $2,000 annually per child under the age of 17. The Democrats’ plan works differently than Romney’s.

Under the proposal, the government would provide benefits of $3,600-per-child under 6 and $3,000-per-child between 6 and 17. Read more about the fine print of how the child tax credit would workAccording to The Washington Post, which first reported on the Democrats’ child care benefit plans, “the size of the benefit would diminish for Americans earning more than $75,000 per year, as well as for couples jointly earning more than $150,000 per year.” 

People could start receiving payments in July, The Post reported. Like other forms of direct cash relief the government has provided throughout the pandemic, eligibility for the payments will be based on income.

Ian McKenna contributed to this report. This story has been updated to reflect that Democrats introduced the legislation.

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