Update: President-elect Joe Biden is unveiling a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan Thursday. It includes $1,400 checks, which is on top of the $600 from the second round of stimulus payments. KTLA’s updated story can be found here.
All eyes will be on President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday as he rolls out his coronavirus relief package, which is expected to include the largest stimulus check yet of $2,000 for most Americans.
The proposal is also expected to include a significant expansion of an existing tax credit for children. That component is designed to provide targeted relief for poor and middle-class households.
The plan was first reported by The Washington Post. The reporting said a figure hadn’t been determined but was expected to be similar to a campaign pledge calling for $300 per month to American households for every child under 6 as well as $250 per month for every child between the ages of 6 and 17.
On his campaign website, the credit expansion was explained this way:
As President, he will support a significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for the duration of the crisis, as proposed in the House-passed HEROES Act. Biden’s CTC expansion will provide thousands of dollars of tax relief for middle-class households. It will also help the most-hard pressed working families avoid poverty and attain greater economic security. He will also make the CTC fully refundable so that hard-pressed families can access these resources quickly. And, he will allow families to receive monthly payments if they choose.
The Post reports Biden is expected to expand the benefit to millions of poor families that currently don’t have access to the program.
The benefit would be claimed by most parents to offset existing obligations when they pay taxes, according to The Post. However, many parents who don’t make enough to file taxes would be able to fill out a form with the IRS and receive the money in the same way those first $1,200 stimulus checks were distributed.
The price tag of Biden’s stimulus proposal is expected to be in the neighborhood of $1 trillion and is also expected to include an extension of unemployment assistance, aid to local and state governments, a boost for small businesses, funding for vaccine distribution and schools, and that third round of stimulus checks.
Analysts say the voting on Biden’s stimulus plan should give us insight into whether or not Republicans will work with the Democratic majority or collectively draw a line in the sand.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, has indicated he’s not in favor of the large checks going out. In a recent interview with The Post, he said “absolutely not” to the idea of direct payments with that high of a financial figure that aren’t specifically targeted.
But he seemed to temper his tone during a later appearance on CNN.
“That’s not a yes or no question,” Manchin told Jake Tapper Sunday. “How is the money that we invest now going to help us best to get jobs back and get people employed? And I can’t tell you that sending another check out is gonna do that to a person that’s already got a check.”
Last week, Biden told voters in Georgia that if Democrats won those races, $2,000 stimulus checks would be on their way to most Americans.
Democrats ended up winning both races, giving them the majority in the U.S. Senate. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reinforced that money was on its way.
“One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families,” Schumer, who will become majority leader, said Wednesday.
Previously, the GOP-controlled Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been the biggest hurdle for getting larger direct payments passed.