Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has reportedly outlined his position on the child tax credit to the White House amid Democrats’ ongoing negotiations for the Build Back Better reconciliation package, according to Axios.
The outlet reported that Manchin is demanding a work requirement and family income cap in the $60,000 range. Those limits would significantly scale back the year-long version of the child tax credit that was included in Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, which passed in March with Manchin’s support and lacked a work requirement or income cap. Under that plan, most families are eligible for monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child.
According to Axios, Manchin also expressed openness to the President’s $450 billion plan to subsidize day care, though he would like to impose stricter income caps on the policy. He is reportedly supportive of the plan for free universal pre-K within the reconciliation package.
But, according to Axios, Manchin is not enthusiastic about the $225 billion to $450 billion paid family leave proposal, or $400 billion for a new program to provide care for elderly and disabled people.
Manchin has repeatedly opined that the country will become an “entitlement society” if social programs in the reconciliation bill aren’t constrained by means tests.
In September, Manchin told CNN that a work requirement for the child tax credit would ensure that it provides assistance to “the right people.”
“I can tell you, people that are working and working poor making every effort they can to get ahead in life, that’s in that $50,000 and below,” he said at the time. “I’ve got people that are making combined $200 [thousand] and $300 [thousand] and more, up to $400 [thousand], saying they’re getting checks.”
Despite a majority of congressional Democrats pushing to make the child tax credit permanent, and an interest among liberals in keeping the program universal, it is among the policies in the reconciliation bill that is on the chopping block as Manchin and fellow centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) continue to resist the legislation’s $3.5 trillion price tag.
It is unclear whether Manchin’s demands would cut the reconciliation bill’s topline enough to bring it within the $1.5 trillion figure he has proposed.