Friday, July 25, 2014

GOP Votes to Block Immigrant Families from Getting the Child Tax Credit. Which 25 Dems Joined Them?

Continuing its piecemeal approach to passing tax extenders, the House voted today to extend the Child Tax Credit--and to make it more regressive.

The GOP bill increases the Child Tax Credit for higher-income taxpayers and reduces it for lower-income taxpayers. It also includes a provision designed to prevent immigrant families from getting access to the credit:
Currently, the Child Tax Credit offers a $1,000 credit for each child under age 17 - which begins to phase out for unmarried individuals at $75,000 and married couples at $110,000. This bill would modify the credit, allowing married taxpayers with higher incomes to claim its benefit, by increasing the income amount at which it phases out from $110,000 to $150,000 for married couples (but leaving the $75,000 threshold for unmarried filers unchanged) and indexing the $1,000 credit and income thresholds to inflation.

While its changes are permanent, the bill fails to extend the refundable portion of the current Child Tax Credit, passed as part of the Recovery Act and extended only through 2017 in the “fiscal cliff deal,” which is directed specifically toward lower income taxpayers. The net effect is to reduce the Child Tax Credit for low income taxpayers while increasing it for higher income taxpayers.
Additionally, after the bill was reported out of committee on a partisan vote, Republicans added a misguided provision that would require the Social Security Number of a filer be disclosed in order to claim the refundable portion of the credit – making it impossible for immigrant parents who file federal taxes using Taxpayer Identification Numbers to benefit from the credit even in cases where their children have a Social Security Number.
The Democratic leadership urged its members to vote no both because of these changes and because of their rejection of the piecemeal approach to tax extenders. 
The White House has also threatened to veto it:
"H.R. 4935 would immediately eliminate the Child Tax Credit for millions of American children whose parents immigrated to this country, including U.S. citizen children and 'Dreamers,' and would push many of these children into or deeper into poverty."
However, that didn't stop some Democrats from voting for it. 
It passed 237 to 173. 212 Republicans and 25 Democrats voted for it. 168 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 25 Democrats:

Ron Barber (AZ-02)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Bruce Braley (IA-01)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Bill Enyart (IL-12)
Pete Gallego (TX-23)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Joe Garcia (FL-26)
Annie Kuster (NH-02)
David Loebsack (IA-02)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Gary Peters (MI-14)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Bradley Schneider (IL-10)
Kysrten Sinema (AZ-09)

The five Republicans who voted against it were Jeff Denham (CA-10), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Walter Jones (NC-03), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (IL-27), and David Valadao (CA-21). I cannot speak to Jones's reasoning, but the other four are in districts with large Latino populations.

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