UPDATED 8:09 AM PT – Friday, July 16, 2021
Joe Biden has touted the rollout of the first monthly child tax credit relief payments. Democrats are congratulating themselves in spite of Republican concerns.
During a speech on Thursday, Biden and Kamala Harris marked the rollout of checks and direct deposits. After the announcement, the Internal Revenue Service reported payments for nearly 60 million children had been dispersed, mostly via direct deposit.
At between $3,000 and $3,600 per child, the total was close to $15 billion in spending. Democrats on the Hill were quick to jump on the celebration.
Starting today, American families will receive monthly payments up to $300 per child from the Child Tax Credit.
This is a historic day in America. pic.twitter.com/rj4CUNGdZQ
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) July 15, 2021
However, while Democrats have called the program a tax cut, Republicans have called it closer to a welfare expansion. Republicans believe the move disincentivizes parents who were laid off during the pandemic, from seeking work.
Biden appeared to recognize their concern and immediately dismissed it. Some GOP lawmakers have released their own version of the program, which ties the child tax benefit to work and has been part of child tax credits since the late 1990s.
While the benefit is set to expire after a year, Biden has already pushed for its extension.