WASHINGTON — Last week's inflation report means one thing, the high cost of goods and services will remain an issue in the United States for quite some time.
Some economists say the United States may have six more months left of high inflation, while others fear it could last a lot longer.
For older Americans, social security checks will be higher next year – but is any relief in sight for parents who are still working?
EXPANDED CHILD TAX CREDIT?
Parents of children likely recall the expanded child tax credit quite well.
It was a program created in 2021 that only lasted for that calendar year.
Congress let it expire.
The program provided parents with a child aged 6 or older a $3,000 tax credit.
Parents with a younger child received a $3,600 check.
About half of that was given in monthly payments to parents — deposited directly into bank accounts.
The payments added up fast.
In fact, Census data suggests child poverty was cut by 40% last year, partially because of the tax cut.
Well, the debate has begun to potentially revive a version of the expanded credit in the coming weeks.
WHY THE CHANGE?
Currently, the normal $2,000 annual child tax credit remains the law of the land.
However, a number of Democrats, and even some Republicans, have suggested that credit needs to be higher.
Remember the expanded child tax credit went away because Democratic leadership couldn't get Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia or any other Republican on board without instituting major changes.
Well, now, Democrats appear more open to bringing back a version of it even if it means lower salary qualifications, new work requirements or lower amounts given.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, as well as Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, are two conservatives who have hinted, they could get on board if changes are made. Meanwhile, Democratic senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Michael Bennet of Colorado have threatened to block votes on tax relief to businesses in the coming weeks — unless a serious debate over the child tax credit takes place again.
Expect all of this to intensify next month.
The period after an election and before the new congress takes over is typically labeled a lame-duck period.
However, Congressional leaders are already planning several key votes during that time.
A debate over the child tax credit could potentially be included in one of those votes.