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Joe Manchin made a big $1.8 trillion pitch to Biden that excludes monthly child tax credit checks to families

Business Insider logo Business Insider 12/20/2021 asheffey@businessinsider.com (Ayelet Sheffey,Joseph Zeballos-Roig)
Senator Joe Manchin. Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider Senator Joe Manchin. Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images
  • Sen. Joe Manchin proposed a $1.8 trillion counter-offer to Biden's agenda last week, per The Washington Post.
  • The proposal included climate investments and universal pre-K, but axed the expanded child tax credit.
  • Manchin has reiterated he supports a child tax credit but says it should have work requirements.

President Joe Biden's Build Back Better package suffered a major blow when Sen. Joe Manchin announced he would not be voting for the current version of Democrats' agenda.

This came after the White House was still trying to decide whether to accept the West Virginia centrist's counter-offer, which stripped monthly checks to families.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Manchin last week gave the White House a $1.8 trillion counter-offer to Biden's Build Back Better agenda. While that offer included a number of Democrats' priorities, like universal pre-K and measures to combat the climate emergency, it did not include an extension of the expanded child tax credit that would continue delivering up to $300 in monthly payments to families per child, which was included in the version of the bill the House passed.

As the Post reported, the climate investments in Manchin's proposal were scaled back from the nearly $600 billion Democrats proposed, and the omission of an expanded child tax credit made it difficult for the White House to accept the offer.

Manchin on Sunday announced on Fox News he will not vote for Biden's agenda in its current version, citing concerns with inflation and the price tag on the package.


Video: Manchin concerned child tax credit money could go to drugs (MSNBC)

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"If I can't go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia I can't vote for it," Manchin said. "I've tried everything humanly possible, I can't get there. This is a no."

Following that announcement that blindsided the White House and his Democratic colleagues, the Huffington Post reported on Monday that Manchin expressed grievances toward the child tax credit included in Democrats' proposal. According to sources familiar, Manchin said parents would use child-tax-credit money to buy drugs and workers would abuse the paid-family-leave program in the legislation to get out of work and go on hunting trips.

The expanded child tax credit in the Build Back Better agenda would have allowed parents who earn below a certain income to keep receiving monthly payments of $300 per child under 6 and $250 for children between 6 and 18 for another year. Without congressional action, the credit will expire at the end of 2021.

Manchin has previously sought to add work requirements to the child tax credit and expressed opposition to passing paid leave. Specifically, he said he was worried that the bill wouldn't fully pay for a paid-leave program and pushed for it to be funded with a new payroll tax on workers and employers. 

"Senator Manchin has made clear he supports the child tax credit and believes the money should be targeted to those who need it most," Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for Manchin, told Insider. "He has also expressed support for a paid leave program that has a dedicated, sustainable funding mechanism."

On Monday, Manchin reiterated his concern that the child tax credit should go only to families with taxable incomes.

"Make sure the people that need it, get it," he said on a West Virginia radio news program. "If it's a tax credit, you gotta have a W-2 to show that you've worked."

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