Democrats tried long and hard to expand the child tax credit when they were in control of Congress and the White House, but were unsuccessful in wrapping that into the massive Inflation Reduction Act that passed using budget reconciliation.
Now, Republicans in the House are moving forward with a proposal of their own that would expand the tax credit in a unique way – extending benefits to unborn children in the womb.
A new package of proposals is being put forth by Representative Ashley Hinson from Iowa. The package is being called the Providing For Life Act, and it’s a very ambitious try to overhaul the system for family care that the federal government provides.
As Hinson explained to Fox News Digital, the proposal “charts the policy course for a culture of life in America.”
She further explained:
“By expanding the child tax credit to include the unborn and providing additional support to working families, empowering women to care for their babies regardless of socioeconomic status or zip code and improving access to community resources, we can make a meaningful difference for those in need.
“These provisions, and others championed by the pro-life community, will ensure we protect the most vulnerable and make critical investments in the long-term well-being of our families.”
The central part of the package of bills would expand the child tax credit to a cap of $3,500 for all children age 5 and under, and up to $4,500 for all children between 6 and 17 years old.
In addition to the expanded amount of the credit, the GOP proposal would expand it retroactively to children who were in the womb. Whenever a child is both, their parents would immediately be eligible to claim that tax credit for the prior year during the mother’s pregnancy. The parents would also be eligible for the tax credit in that current year.
In order to qualify for the credit accordion got the GOP proposal, the parents would have to have a job. That might be a sticking point for Democrats, as their version of the bill didn’t have a work requirement attached to it.
Still, expanding the child care tax credit was a very popular idea while the pandemic was going on, and it got a lot of support from Democrats. That means this GOP proposal – even though it’s different in many ways than the Democrat-led efforts – has at least a chance to pass through Congress.
Right now, the child tax credit is worth as much as $2,000 for every dependent child, regardless of their age.
The package also includes an option that would allow parents to draw from their Social Security benefits to finance paid parental leave of up to three months. It would also enhance some benefits to new mothers.
States would also receive incentives to put guidelines in place for how fathers would need to pay for a portion of the pregnancy costs for the women, and it would also force parents who receive SNAP food benefits to cooperate with any requirements of child support.