REPUBLICAN Senator Mitt Romney on Thursday proposed monthly payments of up to $1,250 for families with children as lawmakers continue to debate the massive coronavirus relief package.
Romney’s plan seeks to replace the current child tax credit with monthly $350 payments for children 5 years old and younger, and $250 for youth 6 to 17 years old.
Families would be able to receive a maximum of $1,250 per month.
“This proposal offers a path toward greater security for America’s families by consolidating the many complicated programs to create a monthly cash benefit for them, without adding to the deficit,” Romney stated in a press release.
The payments phase out for single tax payers who make more than $200,000 annually and for couples with earn more than $400,000, which are the same thresholds for the existing child tax credit.
Payments would come from the Social Security Administration.
Children with Social Security numbers qualify for the payments and their parents would begin receiving the money four months before the child’s due date.
Romney’s proposal comes as lawmakers debate President Joe Biden’s $1.9trillion coronavirus relief package.
The package includes expanding the child tax credit, with many Democrats pushing for the credit to be paid in advance every month.
Biden’s package also offers stimulus checks of up to $1,400 to many Americans.
Democrats are reportedly considering changing the qualifications to send the $1,400 direct payments to individuals making up to $50,000 and $2,800 to married couples earning up to $100,000.
The phase-out for the first two rounds of stimulus checks began at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples.
Romney wants the cost of his payments to families with children to be offset by canceling federal programs that would overlap with the new allowance for kids.
Those programs include the child and dependent care tax credit, the head-of-household filing status and temporary aid to families in need.
Romney also wants to lower the cost of the earned income tax credit, and to repeal the state and local tax deduction.
It is not likely that Democrats will back Romney’s plan to fund his proposal.
However, many Democrats have indicated support for handing out monthly payments to families with kids.
White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain tweeted on Thursday that Romney’s proposal looked like “an encouraging sign that bipartisan action to reduce child poverty IS possible.”
Romney’s plan would reduce child poverty in the US by about one-third, according to the Niskanen Center, an advocacy group.
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