By Victor Reklaitis
President Joe Biden is signaling that monthly payouts for an expanded child tax credit probably won’t make a comeback, even as he aims to get Congress to pass other parts of his social-spending and climate package.
“There’s two really big components that I feel strongly about that I’m not sure I can get in the package. One is the child-care tax credit. The other is help for the cost of community colleges,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday during a news conference that came at the one-year mark of his presidency.
“They are massive things that I’ve run on — I care a great deal about,” the president added, saying he’ll keep “coming back” to those issue later and try to get them done.
The monthly payments of up to $300 per child began on July 15 and ended with the payout on Dec. 15 . A key Democratic senator, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, has opposed continuing them, leading other Democratic lawmakers earlier this month to look at ways to pare back the payments in order to get Manchin’s support.
The Biden White House last month also expressed openness to working with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney on the CTC payouts, after the Utah lawmaker called for a bipartisan approach on the issue.
But Biden is now suggesting that he’s more likely to focus on other parts of his Build Back Better plan. The president on Wednesday said there is support for more than $500 billion in his Build Back Better plan aimed at energy /zigman2/quotes/206420077/composite XLE +3.42% and environmental issues, and he noted that Manchin supported early education programs for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Biden dropped his plan for two free years of community college from his Build Back Better package in October.