Biden indirectly blames Joe Manchin for demise of the monthly child tax credit, lumping him alongside the GOP

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Biden cast blame on Manchin and the GOP for the expiration of the monthly child tax credit.

"We lack one Democrat and 50 Republicans," Biden said.

The end of the temporary program led to a surge of child poverty, wiping out its gains within a month.

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President Joe Biden indirectly cast blame on Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Friday for the end of a monthly child allowance, putting him alongside Republicans and all but conceding the measure will fall out of a revived social and climate spending bill.

At an event in Auburn, Washington, the president said child poverty had dropped 40% while the one-year expanded program was in effect. An overwhelming majority of Democrats favored renewing the program as part of the House-approved Build Back Better plan. The federal program issued up to $300 monthly checks per child to most families.

But Manchin opposed the sprawling bill and sunk it late last year, partly due to his opposition to the benefit program. During the speech, Biden indirectly cited Manchin's opposition as a reason that the party will likely be forced to abandon a big piece of their anti-poverty agenda.

"We lack one Democrat and 50 Republicans from keeping it from passing this time around," he said. "But it really fundamentally changed the lives of millions of people."

Biden pushed other policies that could still make up a smaller Build Back Better plan. Chief among them is a measure to empower the federal government to negotiate some prescription drug prices. The president also pitched an initiative to establish an affordable childcare program and urged the extension of bulked-up federal subsidies that would lower the cost of buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The conservative Democrat had voiced a wide range of concerns about the enhanced child tax credit program, including whether it could dissuade families from work and if the money would be spent on drugs. It doesn't appear his resistance has softened in the last few months.

"Senator Manchin has always supported the existing child tax credit that is still in place despite the pandemic emergency enhancement sunsetting at the end of 2021," Samantha Runyon, a Manchin spokesperson, said in a statement to Insider, adding he backs policies that reward "hard-working families" during a stretch of rising prices.

"He has also made it clear that any change to our social safety nets should move through regular order," Runyon said. That may spell trouble for affordable childcare and universal pre-K in any retooled version of Build Back Better this year.

Research published last month from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University indicated that 3.4 million more children lived in poverty in February compared to December 2021. It amounts to a 38% increase from the level it stood at the end of last year. The program's end quickly erased the gains it had made in denting child poverty.

Congressional Democrats are preparing to take a final shot to pass a downsized version of their agenda before the November midterms. They can't afford to lose any of their party members' votes in the 50-50 Senate since they must all coalesce behind a bill to pass it over fierce GOP opposition.

ComradeJizz on April 22nd, 2022 at 23:52 UTC »

Good. Manchin and Sinema deserve to be tanked. Make an example out of them.

tech57 on April 22nd, 2022 at 23:28 UTC »

"We lack one Democrat and 50 Republicans," Biden said.

Keep working on that messaging. All Democrat politicians need to keep working on that messaging.

lattices on April 22nd, 2022 at 23:19 UTC »

I think I'll get downvoted on this -- but everytime I hate Manchin...and I hate him....without him delivering West Virginia ( W VA!) to get the 50th D vote, there wouldn't even have been a vote for Brown-Jackson. The R party is out to ignore democracy and that 50th vote has mattered.