Millions of Americans will get a monthly stimulus check for at least four years, if President Biden’s vision for his ‘American Families Plan’ that he just presented during Wednesday night’s joint session of Congress comes to pass.
Those checks would represent an even greater expansion of the already-expanded federal child tax credit, which was made possible by last month’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation. The 1-year expansion of the tax credit under that bill provided for up to $3,600 per eligible child in stimulus checks, spread out over monthly payments (starting this July). As we noted earlier on Wednesday, a group of House Democrats has called on President Biden to support making these payments permanent — meaning, millions of families would get a stimulus check of at least a few hundred dollars essentially forever.
As we’ve recapped multiple times now, here’s what the current extension of the federal child tax credit does: If you’re part of a married couple earning $150,000 in total or less, or if you’re an individual taxpayer making $75,000 or less, you’ll get $250 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17 from July through December, for a total of $1,500 (6 months x $250). You’ll get $300 for each child under the age of 6. The balance of the $3,600 will come as a tax credit next year. Biden now wants to stretch this out through at least 2025, so now that takes the monthly stimulus checks that families are about to starting receiving in July and multiplies them fourfold.
Biden is asking for the child tax credit to be extended til 2025. Many Dems had pushed for a permanent extension. But that would significantly drive up the cost of the already expensive plan
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 29, 2021
These greatly expanded monthly stimulus checks, believe it or not, also don’t even scratch the surface of the sprawling mix of benefits that Biden’s American Families Plan envisions. His vision for the federal government, as he laid it out Wednesday night during his first address as president to a joint session of Congress, calls for everything from the tax credit expansion mentioned above to greater access to Medicaid, paid family leave, free community college tuition, and much more. He will run into a buzz saw of opposition in Congress, though, because those benefits can only be made possible by — what else? Raising taxes (on the wealthiest Americans). That’s something Republicans will unite almost in compete unison against, and something that makes certain Democrats wobbly, as well — which could be problematic for the president, since Democratic control of the US Senate is already razor thin at the moment.