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With tax credit push, White House seeks infrastructure momentum


WASHINGTON — Even as President Joe Biden’s administration pushes its next big legislative priorities, it’s engaged in a race to claim credit for a receding pandemic and a rebounding economy, tying positive trend lines to its $1.9 trillion Covid relief law, the American Rescue Plan.

On Monday, the White House plans to launch a new push as part of that effort: A Child Tax Credit “Day of Action” to tout the benefits of another major Rescue Plan provision that will soon be boosting the income of tens of millions of American households.

The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child aged 6 to 17, and $3,600 for children under 6. Most Americans will automatically see monthly payments starting next month; the day of action aims to encourage others who qualify for the benefit to enroll before July 15.

In a new video, Biden directs viewers to a new website, ChildTaxCredit.gov, to ensure they will receive the benefits — while also reminding them of who made it possible in the first place.

“With the power of the American Rescue Plan and you, our country can ensure that all working families can raise their kids with the support and dignity they deserve,” Biden says.

Vice President Kamala Harris will also tout the benefit on a visit to a summer day camp in Pittsburgh on Tuesday with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. And the administration will deploy senior officials to speak with local media, including Spanish-language TV and radio, and push the message on social media and cable news channels.

Democratic lawmakers will also be part of the push with in-person or virtual and social media events Monday. Allied interest groups will also promote the effort. Civic Nation’s United States of Women will announce their goal to enroll 300,000 women for the benefit, with a special focus on young mothers of color.

The White House has viewed efforts like Monday’s as critical to sustaining political momentum for further economic initiatives like his stimulus plan. Biden’s American Families Plan would seek to extend the Child Tax Credit through 2025, something he also touts in the video.

The Child Tax Credit “Day of Action” comes as part of a larger “Month of Action” around ensuring Americans receive the Covid vaccine. Biden marked a milestone in vaccinations at the White House on Friday — 300 million doses administered in his first 150 days — saying that Americans were heading into a “summer of joy” and “freedom,” even as the effort seemed on pace to fall short of the original goal of seeing 70 percent of the country vaccinated by July 4.

The White House has been working aggressively to pre-empt any Republican arguments that a rebounding economy, in particular, is coasting on policies implemented in the Trump administration.

With his first overseas trip behind him, Biden is expected to hold multiple meetings with key lawmakers Monday and Tuesday to determine if and how his infrastructure proposals can advance in Congress. White House officials say they continue to see multiple pathways for pieces of that agenda, either as part of an emerging bipartisan effort in the Senate, or through the budget reconciliation process which could pass with only Democratic votes.

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