Some Senate Democrats want to use Trump tax cuts as leverage to bring back checks for parents

Some Senate Democrats want to use Trump tax cuts as leverage to bring back checks for parents
Sen. Sherrod Brown, pictured here in February, asked big bank CEOs last year whether they would remain neutral if their employees sought to unionize.Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Some Democrats may oppose renewing part of the Trump tax law if the GOP does nothing on child tax credit.
  • Michael Bennet and Sherrod Brown say that cash benefits for parents should be dealt with as well.

Some Senate Democrats say they want to try and revive an expanded child tax credit by the end of the year.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, signaled he would push to revive a version of the Democratic child tax credit in exchange for backing changes to the 2017 Republican tax law. At the moment, there's extensive Democratic and GOP support to keep enabling large companies to deduct all their research expenses immediately, The Washington Post reported in May.

But starting this year, firms must spread out those expenses over five years, limiting the total amount of tax deductions under the law. Proponents of changing the GOP law may collide into resistance from some key Democrats.

"I cannot imagine the Senate will give big tax breaks to big companies and to wealthy people without taking care of kids first," Brown told Insider.

Another architect of the expanded child tax credit mirrored Brown's position. "I think we should not be extending tax cuts for American corporations if we're not going to extend tax cuts for American children," Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado told Insider.


Bennet also said that he's had "many conversations" with Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah on the child tax credit, but indicated little headway so far. Romney had long said that negotiations on the measure could only take place once Democrats approved their party-line health, climate, and tax bill. The Inflation Reduction Act passed the House and Senate in mid-August.

President Joe Biden's stimulus law transformed the child tax credit into a one-year, near-universal cash benefit for families, widening eligibility to the poorest households with little or no taxable income for the first time. Families received $250 per kid ages 6 to 17 or $300 for each child age 5 and under. It expired last year due to resistance from Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republicans.

Advocates and some liberal economists argue that Congress shouldn't approve more corporate tax breaks at the expense of tax cuts for families and children. During a stretch of high inflation, experts say that families could benefit from financial assistance to purchase groceries or buy gas.

Supporters of the research and development measure say it helps secure the competitiveness of US firms. They may try to push for its inclusion in a year-end government funding bill.

Democrats have struggled to fulfill campaign pledges to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, given resistance from centrists like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona who squashed those efforts. Senate Democrats couldn't afford to lose a single vote to approve the Inflation Reduction Act last month over GOP resistance.