Last push to save Democrats’ child tax credit

Kudos to all of us for making it through the week. A new king made his first appearance in the UK today as the Justice Department and former President Donald Trump’s legal team competed for the role of a ‘special master’ and Major League Baseball announced new rules for next season, including a step clock and wider bases.

Here’s what else is going on.

Democrats consider ‘Hail Mary’ effort to revive child tax credit

The White House and some Senate Democrats are reportedly eyeing a “Hail Mary” effort to revive their enhanced child tax credit this year.

Hans Nichols of Axios reports that the White House has engaged Senate Democrats on the idea and may be willing to support the renewal of some expired corporate R&D tax credits in exchange for Republican support.

The background: The enhanced child tax credit was signed into law by Democrats in March 2021 as part of the US bailout. It expanded eligibility for the credit and increased the amount families could get from $2,000 per child to $3,000 or $3,600, depending on the age of the child. The credit, which included automatic monthly payments, was credited with raising million children out of poverty. But the credit expired at the end of 2021 in the face of opposition from Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). The credit was left out of the Cut Inflation Act Democrats passed last month.

What happens now: The 2017 Republican tax overhaul required companies to deduct research and development expenses over five years starting in 2022. There is bipartisan support for revising this requirement and allowing companies to continue deducting these expenses immediately rather than spreading them out. . Democrats hope this will provide some leverage to renew the child tax credit.

“I think we shouldn’t be extending the American corporate tax cuts if we’re not going to extend the American child tax cuts,” said Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado. Initiated. And Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told the site, “I can’t imagine the Senate giving big tax breaks to big business and the wealthy without taking care of the kids first.”

Some Republicans might be open to a modified version of the child tax credit. “In response to the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, some Republican senators, including Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), have offered family-friendly policies, including cheaper and less expansive policy. version of Biden’s child tax credit,” notes Axios. But it would take at least 10 Republican votes in the Senate.

The bottom line: Any potential action on a tax package will have to wait until after the November election.

Manchin’s energy reforms could blow interim funding bill

Democratic leaders say they intend to include authority to reform energy infrastructure projects in the interim funding bill that must pass before the end of the month, but dozens of Democrats in the House say they will not support the measure championed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

The inclusion of the reforms, which would make it easier for companies to get energy project approvals, was reportedly offered to Manchin to win his support for the Cut Inflation Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden last month. last.

Manchin pushed the bill as part of an effort to advance the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 304-mile gas pipeline that would cross his state but has faced repeated delays, in part due to permitting issues. The permitting bill, which is backed by fossil fuel producers and interest groups such as the American Petroleum Institute, would help accelerate not only this specific project, but also other energy projects across the country.

But the reforms face opposition from environmental groups and many liberal Democratic lawmakers, who say they will make climate change worse. Among other things, the bill will make it harder to oppose energy infrastructure projects under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) criticized the measure on Thursday as “a huge giveaway to the fossil fuel industry” that would offset the climate measures included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

In a letter at the Democratic leadership on Friday, 72 House Democrats called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to leave the reforms out of the bill of interim funding that lawmakers hope to pass before Oct. 1.

“The permit and public notice and comment provisions imposed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are among the only tools available to local communities to enforce scrutiny of federal projects that may have serious consequences, in the long term, on the environment and public health in these communities,” the House Democrats wrote. “Congress should continue to provide increased funding to help federal agencies complete the NEPA process, but attempts to circumvent or undermine the law in the name of “reform” must be resisted.” [emphasis in the original]

Risk of stoppage: The dispute over the authorization measure increases the chances that lawmakers will not be able to agree on a funding bill before October 1, and without this bill, the government will close its doors in the end. some exercice. Although the clearance measure is included as a kind of reward for Manchin, some House Democrats say it’s not their problem. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), for example, told The Hill he had no “obligation” to vote for the measure since he never agreed to the deal with Manchin.

Still, the funding bill could pass even if opposed by a number of Democrats, as some Republicans are expected to support it. “Despite the chorus of opposition from lawmakers and progressive activists, the harsh political reality is that Democratic leaders are considering tying the authorization bill to a bridge financing measure, giving it a good chance of passing. “, said Maxine Joselow of the Washington Post.

quote of the day

“They are not ashamed.”

– President Joe Biden has slammed Republicans who he says are taking credit for building new bridges and roads with funding from the infrastructure bill they oppose. “The truth is, there are a lot more Republicans taking credit for this bill than people who actually voted for it,” Biden said during a speech Thursday at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee. The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed the Senate with the support of 19 Republicans, but got just 13 GOP votes in the House.

The Cost of the January 6 Congressional Committee

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol has spent more than $3 million so far this year, Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan of News report, based on the recently released quarterly report disbursement records.

The exact total: $3,317,373.81, the vast majority of which went to staff.

The committee reportedly employs 57 people and paid out $1.6 million in compensation last quarter. Compare that to the House Judiciary Committee, a standing committee that includes staffers from both parties,” Sherman and Bresnahan write. “The judiciary spent $1.8 million on personnel over the same period.”

The House Ways and Means Committee, for additional context, spent more than $2.5 million last quarter and $4.8 million so far this year.

The January 6 committee also reportedly spent more than $600,000 in each of the last two quarters on outside consultants and services such as transcription, digital forensics and private investigators.

The committee, which Punchbowl says could be “the most sweeping investigation in congressional history,” is expected to hold another hearing this month. Punchbowl reports that he will host a retreat next week to discuss his next steps.

The bottom line: Committee operations and expenses may be significant, but protecting American democracy is priceless.

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