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McConnell wasn't concerned about Biden’s child tax credit being too popular for Republicans to kill, according to book

Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • McConnell was concerned that the Biden child credit for tax credits would prove too difficult to get rid of by Republicans.
  • Two New York Times reporters have written a book that reveals McConnell's dissatisfaction with a key section of the stimulus law.
  • Manchin and Republicans opposed the one-year child allowance.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has never supported President Joe Biden’s stimulus law. It passed early last year with only Democratic votes. However, one of the social programs seemed to alarm McConnell in particular.

According to McConnell's forthcoming book "This Will not Pass", a pair New York Times reporters found that McConnell wasn't bothered by the increased child tax credit. Insider got it before its May 3 release.

The Kentucky Republican confided privately to a friend shortly after the law was passed in March 2021 that it was one of the many social benefits that would prove too popular for Republicans to lose control of Congress even if they won't regain control.

Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, Times reporters, wrote that if Americans became used to the benefits of the new law, it would be politically unwise for Republicans to repeal its most popular provisions. McConnell lamented that the country might reach a point where it is impossible to return to a European-style social security state, which McConnell had spent his entire career fighting against.

McConnell spokesperson didn't respond immediately to a request for comment.

Due to opposition by Sen. Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Republicans led by McConnell, the bulked-up tax credit for children expired four months ago. Initial plans by Democrats to extend the credit for at least one year under their Build back Better legislation were rejected by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republicans led by McConnell. Manchin's resistance to the benefit was part of the reason Manchin pulled the House bill from the floor.

Biden recently admitted that the child allowance will not be revived soon. Manchin also attempted to squash any attempt to revive social expenditure initiatives in a smaller bill. Democrats are trying to pass a smaller package with Manchin's approval in the 50-50 Senate.

Schumer Manchin
Senate Democrats huddle with Sen. Joe Manchin.

The stimulus law changed the child tax credit to a one-year, almost universal cash benefit for families. It also expanded eligibility to those with low or no taxable incomes for the first time. Family members received $250 for each child aged 6-17 and $300 for each child 5 years old or younger.

According to Columbia University research, the program's overhaul reduced child poverty by about a third. These gains were lost a month later when the initiative was terminated. Since then, child poverty has risen.

Insider's Leo Aquino spoke with families who said that they used federal cash to pay basic expenses such as groceries and utility bills. They also used it to pay down medical bills. Although the program was short-lived, it did not enjoy widespread support among voters. However, the recipients strongly supported the aid.

Manchin did not appear to accept the child allowance. Manchin was skeptical of the federal government sending monthly checks to families with no strings attached and demanded that a work requirement be reinstated. Manchin was in a collision with his party's vast majority, who supported the renewal of the program as a monthly check program that provides a buffer to the most vulnerable families from financial shocks.

According to the authors, the conservative Democrat complained privately to his colleagues about the enhanced child credit paying for more children when West Virginia families couldn’t afford them.

Manchin also stated to Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey, that he believed the money was going to be used for drugs. Booker was able to counter and say that the money would be used by families for everyday expenses such as diapers, according to Martin and Burns.

Rising prices are causing Democrats to be more concerned about the possibility of a major blowout in November's midterm elections. A poll by Morning Consult and Politico released last month found that Republicans are now leading among a certain group of voters: parents who have previously received the enhanced child tax credit.


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