Legislation that would provide payments totaling up to $3,600 a year per child to tens of millions of American families is set to be unveiled on Monday, the Washington Post reports. The legislation, spearheaded by Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, advances a key provision of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, per CNN. Under the proposal, families would receive monthly payments of $250 per child up to age 17 and $300 per child younger than six. The size of the benefit would decrease for Americans earning more than $75,000 per year and couples earning more than $150,000, according to the Post, which obtained a copy of the 22-page bill before its release. If the bill is passed, payments would begin in July. A Columbia University analysis found that the benefit would cut child poverty by more than 50%.
Although the legislation calls for the payments to be made for one year, Democrats and the White House have said they would push to make them permanent. “The pandemic is driving families deeper and deeper into poverty, and it's devastating,” Neal said in a statement. “This money is going to be the difference in a roof over someone's head or food on their table.” Neal’s proposal represents an increase in the child tax credit, which currently provides up to $2,000 per child. While some Republicans, such as Sen. Mitt Romney, have expressed support for increasing the benefit, the Post predicts “a major political clash” over Neal’s legislation, noting that is not clear whether Democrats can pass the benefit via reconciliation, the procedure they are using to pass additional COVID stimulus payments without Republican support. (Read more COVID relief bill stories.)