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Jared Golden of Maine

Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) is seen during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on March 6, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jared Golden Among Corporate Democrats Obstructing Extension of Expanded Child Tax Credit

"The rich can afford to pay a fairer share in taxes, but many families in Maine can't afford to lose out on this commonsense tax relief."

Kenny Stancil

A new report released Wednesday reveals the extent to which a handful of corporate Democrats "are choosing a minority of wealthy households over the millions of children in their states who would benefit from the expansion of the child tax credit" proposed in the Build Back Better Act.

"It makes no sense economically to hold hostage real help for families just to protect tax breaks for a tiny, wealthy minority."
—Kyle Herrig, Accountable.US

Extending the expanded child tax credit, which would be paid for by a modest tax hike on their wealthiest constituents, would benefit roughly 90% of children in the lawmakers' states, the Accountable.US analysis (pdf) found. Nevertheless, several right-wing Democrats are still threatening to block the sweeping reconciliation bill on which the party's agenda depends.

The child tax credit—originally expanded in March when President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan—has provided millions of households with monthly checks of up to $300 per child. If made permanent, analysts estimate that the policy would cut child poverty in half in nearly a dozen states.

The payments are currently set to expire at the end of the year, but House Democrats have proposed continuing relief through 2025. The proposed extension of the tax cut for working families is included in the party's far-reaching social infrastructure package, which would also raise taxes on corporations and on individuals with annual incomes above $400,000.

Accountable.US identifies 11 corporate Democrats who are obstructing the Build Back Better Act and details how the legislation's child tax credit provision would benefit the vast majority of children in their states, while its proposed tax hikes on the rich would affect only a slim minority.

These conservative congressional Democrats—"many of whom are multi-millionaires themselves" and have recently accepted (pdf) thousands of dollars in campaign donations from corporations actively opposing the reconciliation bill—include:

  • Multimillionaire Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.): Build Back Better would help approximately 96% of West Virginia children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 3.4% of West Virginia households;
  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.): Build Back Better would help approximately 92% of Arizona children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 6.6% of Arizona households;
  • Multimillionaire Rep. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.): Build Back Better would help approximately 82% of New Jersey children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 22.6% of households in Gottheimer's district;
  • Multimillionaire Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.): Build Back Better would help approximately 90.6% of Georgia children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 11.5% of households in Bourdeaux's district;
  • Rep. Jared Golden (Maine): Build Back Better would help approximately 92% of Maine children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 3.3% of households in Golden's district;
  • Multimillionaire Rep. Ed Case (Hawai'i): Build Back Better would help approximately 92.3% of Hawai'i children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 11.8% of households in Case's district;
  • Multimillionaire Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.): Build Back Better would help approximately 88.2% of California children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 3.8% of households in Costa's district;
  • Multimillionaire Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.): Build Back Better would help approximately 90% of Oregon children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 6.7% of households in Schrader's district;
  • Multimillionaire Rep. Filemon Vela (Texas): Build Back Better would help approximately 90.4% of Texas children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 2.6% of households in Vela's district;
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas): Build Back Better would help approximately 90.4% of Texas children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 3.8% of households in Cuellar's district; and
  • Millionaire Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (Texas): Build Back Better would help approximately 90.4% of Texas children through the child tax credit while raising taxes on at most 4% of households in Gonzalez's district.

Accountable.US notes that its new analysis comes as Golden—among the lawmakers who recently voted to increase the annual U.S. military budget to a whopping $778 billion, which translates to more than twice as much as what the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, if spread out on a per-year basis, would invest over a decade in climate action and the social safety net—"is holding up the reconciliation process over 'concerns' that largely mirror those of corporate special interests that prefer to maintain the broken status quo at the expense of working families."

"With so many families struggling to get back on their feet and get ahead in the middle of the ongoing pandemic, it's critical that lawmakers like Jared Golden not lose perspective on who really needs help," Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, said in a statement.

"Golden has an opportunity to deliver tax relief to virtually every family in Maine with the stronger child tax credit," Herrig continued. "It makes no sense economically to hold hostage real help for families just to protect tax breaks for a tiny, wealthy minority—and the public strongly agrees."

Numerous polls have shown that a majority of U.S. voters support key provisions in the Build Back Better Act, including its proposal to offset costs through more progressive taxation.

"The rich can afford to pay a fairer share in taxes," Herrig added, "but many families in Maine can't afford to lose out on this commonsense tax relief."


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