Democrats return from break to BBB, Child Tax Credit urgency

Morning In America

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — President Joe Biden on Monday touted economic gains under his administration as the president and Democrats aim to get his Build Back Better and Child Tax Credit initiatives back on track in the new year.

“We’re entering 2022 in a position of unique economic strength,” Biden said Monday. “Six million new jobs, a record number for a new president, have been created since January last, and the fastest growth in America in nearly 40 years.”

Democrats hope to hit the ground running as they return from their holiday break.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed to hold a vote on the BBB in early January whether or not West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is on board with the plan. Manchin has stated repeatedly that he is opposed to certain parts of the plan that he thinks spend excessively.

Last year, Manchin was the lone remaining holdout on the Democratic side, and his opposition prevented the BBB bill — which is the heart of President Joe Biden’s sweeping agenda — from moving forward. Democrats still believe they can get him to agree to vote for the bill, but Schumer’s determination to hold a vote either way signals party frustration and Biden’s sense of urgency.

The Senate Democratic Caucus meets for its weekly lunch on Tuesday, and the comments coming out after that meeting should give an indication of where the party sits and whether a unified front is possible.

One issue that will be front and center over the next few weeks as tax filing season rolls along is the Child Tax Credit. The CTC was a cornerstone of pandemic relief, providing families with up to $300 monthly for every child under 5 and lesser amounts for children ages 6-17. That tax credit has expired, but a renewal is a big part of the BBB agenda. It’s also one of the chief items that Manchin has called out as being too expensive.

The popularity of that tax credit coupled with its potential expiration and an end to the checks for families make Democrats’ urgency all the stronger. Whether they’ll be able to sway Manchin, however, remains to be seen.

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