Aug 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Democrats quash Bernie Sanders effort to revive child tax credit

Sen. Bernie Sanders listens during a hearing on May 5. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Democrats on Sunday morning overwhelmingly voted against Sen. Bernie Sanders' attempt to revive the child tax credit to the party's most promising iteration of the reconciliation package.

Driving the news: The independent Vermont senator was the only one to vote in favor of an amendment to include the tax credit, as the rest of his party feared that adding it would derail the entire bill.

What he's saying: "Pathetically, the United States has the highest child poverty rate of almost any major country on Earth, and it is especially high among young people of color," Sanders said, while introducing the amendment.

  • "This is the wealthiest nation on Earth. We should not have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any country."

The other side: "Sen. Sanders is right," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). "The child tax credit is one of the most important things this body did. ... But, I ask my colleagues to vote no because this will bring the bill down, a very good bill."

  • "We know this is a fragile arrangement, and we've got to pass it," Brown added.
  • "Last year, we demonstrated to the American people that we don't have to accept this outrageous, shameful level of childhood poverty in our nation," Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said.
  • "We have to fight to make this enhanced child tax credit permanent, and that's what I will do with people on both sides of the aisle," Bennet added. "But this does not advance that cause because we could lose the underlying bill."

Background: The American Rescue Plan temporarily expanded the child tax credit in 2021, briefly reducing childhood poverty levels.

Go deeper