Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Thursday unveiled a plan for households to receive up to $ 4,200 a year for each young child and a Republican response to President Joe Biden’s calls for more support for families with Given to children.
While Romney calls for even more aid than Biden, his plan would also remove a number of popular welfare programs that could be a hurdle to gaining support from Democrats.
Romney’s plan provides monthly cash payments of $ 350 for each child under the age of 6 and $ 250 per month – $ 3,000 per year – for each child aged 6-18. Families would be eligible four months prior to each child’s due date, meaning the household would receive $ 1,400 before the child is born.
It’s unclear whether other Republicans or Democrats will be behind Romney’s plan, and the Senator’s office did not respond to inquiries about whether he discussed the proposal with other lawmakers or the White House. The plan was supported early on by moderate and progressive think tanks.
Biden has also proposed increasing the allowance for Americans with children in his proposal for an American rescue plan of $ 1.9 trillion. The US bailout plan provides for an increase in the child tax credit so that households receive $ 3,600 for each child under 6 and $ 3,000 for older children.
Under applicable law, the child tax credit for children 16 and under is $ 2,000 per year and paid annually. The tax credit does not apply to individuals earning less than $ 2,500 per year.
Romney’s plan would expire for those earning more than $ 200,000 and joint applicants earning more than $ 400,000 and would be capped at $ 1,250 per month. The exit level for Biden’s plan has not been disclosed.
Romney, the 2012 GOP candidate for president, is one of a group of 10 Republicans who have urged Biden to cut the scope of his $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan.
As part of his plan, the Utah Republican would abolish temporary assistance to needy families, child and care credit, and state and local tax withholding (SALT), a sticking point for Democrats who represent affluent areas and those with high tax rates.
Congress has capped the SALT deduction as part of former President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform legislation. Democrats have pushed for the cap to be lifted, preventing filers from charging more than $ 10,000 in state and local taxes on their federal returns.
Romney announced the plan Thursday, saying it would lift nearly 3 million children out of poverty without adding to the deficit.
Romney proposed that the benefits would be distributed each month through the Social Security Agency. The drive for direct payments in welfare programs has been accelerated by the perceived success of the checks mailed to ease the pandemic. Romney was an early proponent of direct payments, demanding $ 1,000 checks to be sent to every adult in March.
Senior Democrats made no comment on Romney’s plan on Thursday.
White House spokeswoman Rosemary Boeglin said the government welcomed Romney’s focus on reducing child poverty. She said Biden’s plan was to provide emergency relief by 2021. Boeglin added that Biden plans to work with Romney and others to formulate a bipartisan plan to provide ongoing aid and pay for it.
The Niskanen Center, a moderate think tank in Washington, wrote in a bulletin published along with Romney’s plan that child support would reduce US child poverty by a third and “deep child poverty” by half. The think tank analysis supported Romney’s claim that his plan would not increase the deficit.
Two analysts at the center, Samuel Hammond and Robert Orr, also published a paper, titled “The Conservative Case for Child Support,” in which they argued that such a plan “would create the conditions for consolidating a variety of less effective policies and programs, including those known to promote addiction and punish marriage. “
Across the aisle, Matt Bruenig, analyst and founder of the People’s Policy Project, a progressive think tank, endorsed Romney’s plan and called him a step further than Biden.
“Just by the design of the benefits, it is clear that Romney’s proposal is an improvement on the Biden proposal because of its generosity and administrative simplicity,” wrote Bruenig, who blogged for broader child support in a white paper published last month.
Bruenig found that the lifetime benefit per child under Biden’s plan would be $ 57,600, compared to $ 62,600 under Romney’s plan. The child tax credit offers a lifetime benefit of $ 34,000 per child, Bruenig wrote.
The demand for increased aid for families with children comes from the fact that the US is struggling with a child poverty rate that is well above the average for rich countries. About 17% of children in the United States – or 12 million children – were living in poverty as of 2019, a number that had declined slightly before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count project.
The financial burden from the pandemic has increased the burden on families with children and left millions of people unemployed.
In a post on Twitter on Thursday, Romney wrote that families “face greater financial stress and marriage and birth rates are at all-time lows.
“Now is the time to help families meet the challenges they face as they take on the most important job each of us will ever do – raising the children of our society,” he wrote.
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