U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, wants the expansion of two tax credit programs to be included in the next coronavirus relief package.
Neal, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, has asked that the expansion of the earned income tax credit and child tax credit be part of the next stimulus bill, The Hill reported Friday. Both tax credit programs are geared toward helping low- and middle-income households.
The White House did not include the expansion of either tax credit in the proposal that it offered last week. Democrats have cited their exclusions as a major flaw in that proposal.
According to The Hill, Neal’s comments came during discussions between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the proposed relief package. Pelosi repeatedly has criticized the Trump administration for not proposing expansions of the earned income tax credit and child tax credit.
“The decision to exclude these provisions — including Democrats’ proposal to make some of the benefits available immediately — means that workers and families will miss out on thousands of dollars they need to get back on their feet in the coming months,” Neal said in a statement. “Along with an extension of emergency unemployment compensation into 2021, these anti-poverty tax measures must be in the next stimulus package.”
A proposal that would increase the eligibility and amount of the earned income tax credit for childless workers for 2020 was included in the $2.2 trillion relief package that House Democrats passed this month. It also would allow taxpayers to use their 2019 income for purposes of claiming the credit on their 2020 tax returns, instead of their 2020 income, which would help to prevent people from receiving a smaller credit this year because they lost their jobs.
The measure also would make the child tax credit fully refundable for 2020, which would allow the lowest-income families to receive the full credit amount.
A broader expansion of the child tax credit was included in an earlier, larger version of House Democrats’ coronavirus relief proposal that passed in May.
Neal said the White House proposal “fails to include the robust assistance Americans need to survive the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.”