Why Is Chuck Schumer Refusing a Vote on the Child Tax Credit?

The Hill

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This week, reports emerged that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is under pressure from vulnerable Democratic Senators to hold a vote on one of the most popular major bipartisan bills of the 118th Congress— a $78 billion package to expand the Child Tax Credit and restore the deductibility of some business investments.

Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV.)—all facing tough re-election fights—have asked the New York Senator to schedule a floor vote on the legislation, which passed the House in January by a margin of 357 to 70. Other Senators have also joined in on this effort; and there is no news of any Senator taking a contrary view.

Yet, for months, the bill has languished in the upper chamber. The prospect of bipartisan passage gets tougher as Election Day grows nearer.

Schumer’s refusal to call a vote on the Child Tax Credit is perhaps the biggest mystery of legislative politics in 2024. The Senate leader owes the public—and his own Democratic senators—an explanation.

A vote on the legislation to expand the Child Tax Credit would be a win-win proposition for Schumer. If successful, the legislation is projected to lift about half a million children above the poverty line while making at least 5 million less poor. If a Senate vote were to fail, Democrats could publicly lay the blame on Republicans for blocking a massively popular policy.

The CTC is an extremely popular and well-proven policy tool. Around 75 percent of voters consistently express support for the tax credit. The CTC’s expansion from the American Rescue Plan reduced child poverty in the US by nearly half, to a record low level,from 2020 to 2021—a major achievement for America. But when this measure expired at the end of 2021, these momentous gains were lost.

According to those who have talked to Senator Schumer about this, …

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