A whisper campaign aimed at tanking the bipartisan tax plan being considered in Congress has been making its way around K Street and Capitol Hill. But tax experts say the claims behind the chatter are largely untrue.
According to talking points circulating among lobbyists and congressional aides, the package would potentially allow the Biden administration to send out Child Tax Credit checks right before the 2024 election, two people familiar with the situation said.
“The problem with that is this particular [bill] does not facilitate that payment structure,” Kyle Pomerleau, a tax expert at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, told Semafor. While the legislation does increase the credit’s value for many families, they would typically receive it at tax time after filing their returns, with the money built into their annual refund. “There’s no separate check that says ‘CTC’ on the subject line or anything like that,” Pomerleau added.
The child credit was distributed as a separate monthly check during Biden’s one-year expansion of the program, which ended in 2022.
There has been some speculation that the tax bill, which pairs the expanded child credit with a handful of major business tax deductions and other policy changes, could come to the floor for a vote next week. But House Speaker Mike Johnson has yet to express support for it, and the reception among Senate Republicans has been tepid. Some have demanded damages to assuage concerns that the expanded child credit could disincentivize work.
The Joint Committee on Taxation released a report on Wednesday casting doubt on those concerns, finding that the Wyden-Smith deal’s effect on the labor force is “too small to be significant.”
The notion that the deal might allow the president to send out “Biden bucks” right before Election Day isn’t concerning the top Republican Senate tax-writer, either, even if he’s still noncommittal on the bill.
“That’s not one that I’m worried about,” Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the ranking member of the Senate Finance panel, told Semafor.