MarketWatch: Dueling child-cash plans take center stage as coronavirus-aid outline takes shape

I spoke to Jonathan Nicholson of MarketWatch about the parties’ dueling visions for child tax credit reforms within the context of COVID relief.

Liam Donovan, a principal with Bracewell LLP’s Policy Resolution Group in Washington, said the fact the Democrats led their aid package rollout this week with details of the child tax credit boost shows they’re serious about it, and its chances for inclusion in a final package are good.

“It’s a longstanding priority,” he said. “In terms of the interplay with Romney, I think it’s almost kind of incidental, but in terms of their intentions here, they seem pretty clear this is a high priority.”

While the Democratic plan as proposed is temporary, history has demonstrated lawmakers’ willingness to extend popular temporary tax breaks when they are set to expire. That could make the proposal, for which the Democrats did not specify any offsetting cuts or revenue increases elsewhere, one of a group of provisions called “tax extenders” that are routinely given new life on an annual or biennial basis.

Donovan said that including the idea in the coronavirus bill and passing the bill through the budget reconciliation process, which means it can’t be blocked by Republicans in the Senate, shows how the tax code will reflect the political polarization of the times.

“So long as the only route to major legislation is through reconciliation, I think the tax code is going bear all the hallmarks of what it takes to get something done through reconciliation. It’s going to make it more complicated, but that’s just the nature of the beast at this political moment,” he said.

Read the full piece here.

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