The extended child tax credit proved immensely beneficial for American families, but it expired in December of last year. Efforts were made to revive the child stimulus check, but none materialized. One more effort was made last week by Sen. Bernie Sanders, but it also failed to gain traction.
How Did Sanders Plan To Revive The Child Stimulus Check?
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, recently made a push for the inclusion of a Child Tax Credit extension in the Inflation Reduction Act. Sanders argued that families need more urgent help than what they would get from the larger relief packages.
Specifically, Sanders pushed for an amendment to the Inflation Reduction Act to accommodate the extended Child Tax Credits of $300 per month.
"I will be introducing an amendment to expand the $300 a month Child Tax Credit for the next 5 years paid for by restoring the top corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent," Sanders said from the Senate floor on Saturday.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP), which was passed by Democrats in March 2021, raised the child tax credit payments to $3,600 for children under 6 years and to $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17.
Also, the ARP changed the way families receive this credit. Rather than receiving the credit in one lump sum, eligible families got half the credit amount in six monthly installments, and the other half at the time of filing taxes this year.
The extended child tax credit proved to be a lifeline for many families, but it expired at the end of last year. Initially, Democrats hoped to revive the child stimulus check through President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act, but the plan failed. Now, Democrats are focusing on the Inflation Reduction Act, and Sanders was planning to include the extended child tax credit into it.
Why Did Democrats Turn It Down?
Early Sunday morning, however, Democrats overwhelmingly voted against (97 to 1) Sanders’ attempt to revive the child stimulus check. In fact, Sanders was the only one to vote in favor of the amendment. The vast majority of Democrats rejected the amendment fearing that it could derail the entire bill.
"Sen. Sanders is right," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said. "The child tax credit is one of the most important things this body did. ... But, I ask my colleagues to vote no because this will bring the bill down, a very good bill.”
Apart from the proposal to revive the child stimulus check, Sanders introduced a few more proposals on Sunday, but all were overwhelmingly defeated. Sanders, for instance, introduced a proposal to ensure Medicare doesn’t pay more for prescription drugs than the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Also, Sanders called for expanding Medicare coverage.
Sanders’ VA-related revision was turned down by a 1-99 vote, while Medicare expansion provision failed by 3-97.