Americans have received three stimulus payments since the COVID-19 pandemic began in spring 2020 – $1,200 in March 2020, $600 in December 2020, and $1,400 in March 2021. In addition to these payments, many parents received up to $300 per month per child for the last six months of 2021.
But Congress has seemed reluctant to move forward with additional stimulus check and President Joe Biden’s proposal to extend child tax payments through 2022 failed in the Senate. A new measure, however, would restore direct payments to help families.
Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, introduced the Family Security Act which would send payments of $350 per month to eligible families with children ages 0-5 and $250 per month to those with children ages 6-17. The measure would also allow expectant parents to apply for benefits that would begin four months before their child’s due date. The maximum monthly payment would be $1,250.
“American families are facing greater financial pressure, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, and marriage and birth rates are at record lows,” Romney said. “On top of that, we haven’t completely reformed our family support system for almost three decades, and our changing economy has left millions of families behind.”
For example, a married couple with two children ages 4 and 9 earning $38,990 a year, or 150% of the federal poverty level, currently receives a year-end lump sum tax return of $7,041. Under the Family Security Act, their annual benefit would increase by $2,318, 75% of which would come from monthly payments.
Romney’s plan calls for the benefit to be reduced by $50 for every $1,000 above the income thresholds – $200,000 for single filers and $400,000 for joint filers. It would also put in place work requirements for recipients.
Romney first introduced the bill last year, but it failed to gain traction with lawmakers. It was recently relaunched as Biden’s Build Back Better Plan – including child tax credit extensions – died.
“Now that it’s clear that ‘Build Back Better’ isn’t moving forward and with bipartisan opposition to the president’s ill-conceived child tax credit expansion, the administration has an opportunity to actually work with the Republicans and Democrats on a sustainable and fiscally responsible family policy,” Romney said.