ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – President Joe Biden wants to make the child tax credit included in his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief program permanent, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.
Biden and other officials in his administration are traveling across the United States to promote and explain the newly enacted relief measure, which provides $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans.
The package also expands the U.S. federal child tax credit for one year to a fully refundable $3,600 credit for children under 6 and $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17, from a partially refundable $2,000 per child.
Experts say the move will significantly decrease child poverty in the United States. Nearly 11 million, or one in seven, U.S. children live in poverty, the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, estimates.
“The president wants to make the Child Tax Credit permanent,” Psaki told reporters in response to a question.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Schumer’s fellow New York Democrat, said on Sunday they would push to enshrine the enhanced child tax credits as they move forward with other initiatives, including legislation to upgrade U.S. infrastructure.
Psaki said Biden was looking at various proposals, including one from Republican Senator Mitt Romney, to keep giving the credits to Americans, and viewed them as critical to getting more women back into the workforce.
“He believes it’s also one of the ways that we can help address the number of women – working women – who have moved out of the workforce,” she said. “But we just have to find a vehicle, and we’re having those discussions with Congress.”
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Peter Cooney)