KEY POINTS

  • Families can expect monthly payments instead of one lump sum at the end of year
  • The scheme is for a year, but Democrats would push to make it permanent
  • At present, eligible families can claim up to $2,000 per child under age 17 

Millions of American families will receive at least $3,000 per child a year, as per a piece of legislation to be unveiled by House Democrats on Monday as part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

The Child Tax Credit Bill, seen by Washington Post and CNN, promises eligible families checks worth $300 every month per child younger than 6 and $250 per child aged between 6 and 17. 

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, will introduce the enhanced bill Monday. "We are making the Child Tax Credit more generous, more accessible, and by paying it out monthly, this money is going to be the difference in a roof over someone's head or food on their table," Neal told CNN. 

Families can get tax credits every month, instead of one lump sum payment at the end of the year. At present, eligible families can claim up to $2,000 per child under age 17 a year. That figure is set to increase to $3,600.

If the legislation is passed by Congress, the payments would begin in July for one year. Democratic lawmakers would then push to make the payments permanent. 

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said the moment should be used to pass the American Family Act. "We cannot stop here. We must permanently expand and improve the child tax credit. One year is not enough for the children and families battling not just the coronavirus, but poverty, too," she said.

The new legislation aims to make the credit fully refundable, benefiting more families whose owed tax is less than the credit due to them. 

The full benefit is available to single parents earning up to $75,000 annually and for couples earning up to $150,000. Payments would phase out after those thresholds. 

The child tax credit has already found bipartisan support with Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee introducing similar measures. Romney recently introduced a bill which envisages a monthly cash benefit of $350 for each young child and $250 for each school-aged child. His proposal, however, would eliminate certain federal tax credits for children and working families.

Biden plans also involves the addition of $15 billion to an existing grant program to help child care providers. 

US President Joe Biden US President Joe Biden Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB