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Will monthly child tax credit payments continue into 2022?

The advance child tax credit payments are set to expire at the end of the year. Extending it has been part of budget negotiations in Congress.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that congressional Democrats reached a “historic" framework for Biden's sweeping domestic policy package. And even though several provisions that have been pushed for have been cut, Biden still needs to work to ensure the votes are there to get it over the finish line.

One question tens of millions of Americans are asking is whether the monthly child tax credit that was put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic rescue will be extended into 2022 as part of the bill. 

The answer, at least for the time-being, is yes. But with other provisions like paid parental leave already being axed as the bill has shrunk from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion, nothing is final until it's final and passes both chambers of Congress.

The credit is $3,600 annually for children under age 6 and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. Eligible families will receive $300 monthly for each child under 6 and $250 per older child.

Prior to its passage in the American Rescue Plan in March, the child tax credit was $2,000 and was paid all at once when parents filed their taxes. But the relief bill increased that total and gave parents the option of taking money in monthly chunks starting in July. 

Those who didn't take the monthly payments this year will get their full amount at tax time. Those who did take the payments will get up to half during 2021 -- depending on whether and when they opted out -- and the rest at tax time in 2022.

If the extension of the plan is passed, then parents, potentially, could see monthly payments for an entire year in 2022 if they choose.

It could also serve Democrats politically. The threat of the credit expiring in 2023 could be a campaign issue in next year's congressional elections. Historically, the party in power loses seats in the midterm election. With Democrats holding a narrow majority in the House, a 50-50 split in the Senate and history not on their side, they need every campaign weapon in their arsenal.

The child tax credit benefit, under the American Rescue Plan, begins to phase out at incomes of $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household and $150,000 for married couples. Families with incomes up to $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for married couples can still receive $2,000. There is no indication in Biden's announced framework if those thresholds will change.

In addition to this bill -- the Build Back Better plan -- there is also a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that has already passed the Senate. A large group of progressive Democrats in the House have said their chamber must vote on both bills together to get their support.

If the Build Back Better plan passes the House, it goes back to the evenly-split Senate. Republicans are unlikely to vote for it. Two conservative Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have almost single-handedly reduced the size and scope of their party’s big vision yet are crucial to sealing the deal. If they are on board and the vote is 50-50, Vice President Kamala Harris would serve as the tiebreaker in her role as Senate president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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