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Biden wants stimulus checks to keep coming next year – here’s how much you’d get

Published Oct 26th, 2021 1:24PM EDT
build back better
Image: Shawn Thew - Pool via CNP/MEGA

President Biden and Democrats in Congress are still deep in negotiations over the White House’s mega-ambitious Build Back Better domestic agenda, paring back the price tag of that agenda’s huge social spending bill by jettisoning features opposed by a couple of holdout Senate Democrats. One victim of the backdoor dealmaking? The popular child tax credit extension, which since July has meant a regular monthly stimulus check for parents of eligible children around the country.

President Biden had wanted to extend that extension, for another three years — which would presumably have meant 36 more monthly child tax credit checks. However, largely as a result of opposition by West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, the White House has agreed to curtail an extension of the child tax credit from three years to only one more year (for now).

Build Back Better agenda scaled down

joe manchin child tax credit checks
West Virginia Democratic US Senator Joe Manchin, shown. Image source: Sarah Silbiger/UPI Newscom/Mega Agency

This is not yet final, of course. But the change is an attempt to accomplish two very important goals.

One of them is to keep Manchin on-side. Democrats, remember, have the slimmest of majorities in the Senate — and it’s actually only a majority via a technicality. The party split in the Senate is 50-50, with Democrats only enjoying a majority if they all hang together and Vice President Kamala Harris breaks a tie.

The other important goal of paring back the child tax credit extension is to keep the overall size of the spending bill at the heart of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda much lower than it was originally. From a new Politico report this week: “Now the White House is proposing a one-year extension to reduce the initial $450 billion price tag. Even though Manchin wants to impose work requirements and ensure the extra credit goes only to families making $60,000 or less, Biden publicly rejected that idea last week.”

Child tax credit

As a reminder, the specifics of the child tax credit include the following:

The tax credit is a single amount of money for eligible families of children. For this year, Congress got creative in how it structured the credit. Half of it came in the form of an advance payment — specifically, in the form of six monthly checks. The second half of the credit will come next year when families file their federal income taxes.

The thinking was that, with the coronavirus pandemic still raging and its effects on the economy ongoing, families need relief now. Congress didn’t want to force them to wait till next year for the credit. So the advance was broken up into six payments.

Again, the spending bill still is not final. But one thing that could happen next year? The credit extension could be structured to pay out over the course of 12 months — instead of six.

More stimulus check news

For more information on stimulus check programs, see some of our earlier coverage:

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.