The titles given to bills are frequently misleading, often deliberately so. Does H.R.4935 really represent improvement?
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) writes:
The House considered H.R. 4935, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act. This is another tax bill that isn’t offset and as a result will increase the deficit by almost a billion dollars. There are other serious problems with this legislation as well. H.R. 4935 does not extend an important tax provision that improved the benefit of the tax credit for lower income families. That provision expires in 2017 and is not addressed in this bill. If this provision does expire, a single parent working full time making minimum wage would not be eligible for any portion of this tax credit. In contrast, H.R. 4935 raises the upper limit on the amount of money families can make in order to qualify for the Child Tax Credit. Under this bill, the value of the tax credit is enhanced for families making between $150,000 and $205,000. This legislation does nothing for those who need it the most and adds significantly to the deficit.
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) writes:
H.R. 4935 would make an improved child tax credit permanent by eliminating the “marriage penalty” in current law. Specifically, the bill would index the $1,000 child tax credit for inflation, and it would increase the income threshold at which the credit begins to phase out for married couples. The bill sets the phase-out amount for married couples at $150,000 – which is double the $75,000 phase-out for single taxpayers. Currently, joint filers are disadvantaged in the tax code compared to single filers when it comes to claiming the child tax credit. Additionally, the bill requires filers to provide a Social Security number on their tax return if they wish to claim a refundable portion of the child tax credit, in order to cut down on waste, fraud and abuse.
The child tax credit helps working families in upstate New York meet the rising cost of raising children in our community. It is an important tool which makes the joy of parenting more affordable, so it should continue to be a part of our tax code. Moreover, because prices for food, clothing and education increase with time, it makes sense to index the value of the tax credit to keep pace with inflation. However, it makes no sense that married couples and joint tax filers are penalized in our tax code, so this bill rightly eliminates the marriage penalty. I was pleased to support this legislation to help more Upstate parents keep more of their paychecks and provide for their families.
H.R. 4935 passed 237 – 173. Rep. Hanna and Rep. Reed voted AYE. Rep. Capuano voted NO. The Obama Administration opposes this bill and has threatened a veto.
The Administration opposes H.R. 4935, which would add nearly $100 billion to deficits over 10 years to expand the Child Tax Credit, including by increasing eligibility for higher income households, while at the same time reducing or eliminating the credit for millions of working parents.
Rep. Tom Reed hasn’t explained why he voted for this bill; Reed seldom explains his votes. Tom says he is concerned about deficit spending, but votes for “budget busters” whenever the party whip asks him.
This is another political bill attacking working class parents, likely doomed from the start, sponsored by the “party of the rich.”
© William Hungerford – July 2014