Blunt rejects ‘gimmicks’ of BBB as Fox News host cites left-wing talking points on child tax credit

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(Video: Fox News)

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) refuted a claim by a “Fox News Sunday” guest host that the “gimmicky” Build Back Better plan, a.k.a. Build Back Broker, could reduce child poverty, especially considering certain tax provisions disproportionately benefit wealthy families, including many of whom live in blue states.

Perhaps channeling the liberal presumptions of former host Chris Wallace, anchor Mike Emanuel relied on data from a left-wing think tank in questioning the longtime lawmaker on the broadcast about the Democrats’ massive spending spree.

“Senator, one of the casualties of the collapse of that bill is the enhanced child tax credit which expires at the end of the year. According to the Urban Institute, continuing the benefit could have a significant impact on child poverty, reducing child poverty to about 8.4 percent from 14.2 percent, a fall of roughly 40 percent. Is that a compelling argument to extend it?” he asked.

Last week on the same program, U.S. Sen. Joe Machin (D-WVa.) announced that he would not support the BBB legislation (at least for now) given that inflation is already running rampant.

Manchin’s decision means that the bill can not move forward in the 50-50 upper chamber in Congress.

“Well, I think this is one of the problems, and one of the gimmicks in the bill, frankly,” Blunt responded to Emanuel’s query.

“We doubled the child tax credit in the 2017 tax bill, and there is a cap on that credit based on income. Sen. Manchin has repeatedly said that one of the problems he has with the bill is that sending money to every family that has children under 18, the families that make — every family that makes up to $150,000, and many families that make up to $400,000, if you look at the House plan, just simply doesn’t make sense,” he added.

“You know, putting a cap on families in need is what we can do, should do, and would do in the country, and I think could do in a bipartisan way,” he continued. “Again, we doubled the child tax credit just a handful of years ago. And we need to look at that if that’s no longer meeting the need of moving kids out of poverty. But families that make $150,000, for instance, aren’t in poverty in Missouri. I don’t think they’re in poverty almost anywhere in the United States. And it’s a big mistake to assume they are.”

Emanuel followed up by suggesting that the child tax credit reduce taxes for those seeking to gain middle-class status as well as those already there.

“If you look at the Build Back Better plan, the second biggest spending in that plan is eliminating the tax deduction that almost totally benefits the richest Americans, $230 billion going to restore the tax deductibility of all your state and local taxes. There’s already a $10,000 deductibility for every family,” Blunt, who is not seeking reelection in 2022, asserted.

“The child tax credit is a great example of what Democrats want to do with this entire bill. They started the child tax credit at this level in March, and now here we are, six months, eight months later, and they are saying well, ‘we can’t stop that program, the program we just started.’ And that’s exactly the kind of gimmicks that the Build Back Better, or some of my friends call it the Build Back Broker, package does.

“They assume that once you start these programs, you’ll never be willing to stop them, and so you’ve got $1.7 trillion of spending paid for over ten years, but most of that money is spent in the first three or four years, and the child tax credit will be another example — ‘let’s extend it for a year’ — and we will have exactly the same argument again next year, and now how are we going to extend this…$500 billion program for the second year, even though supposedly we’re going into a program that’s fully paid for,” the lawmaker continued.

“Those are the kind of gimmicks that Joe Manchin and every Republican in the Senate were offended by, and Americans are going to be offended by them, too, if they ever have a chance to hear that bill debated as we’re now debating it publicly once we see the specifics of the bill,” he said.

Blunt conceded, however, that certain provisions of the BBB plan could receive bipartisan support if they were offered in a stand-alone format.

Both Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have vowed to bring the BBB plan, in its entirety, up for a formal vote perhaps as early as next month.

Describing it as a Christmas gift to America, the New York Post editorial board previously praised Manchin for killing “the bloated, inflation-fueling, misguided welfare-state expansion that was the Build Back Better bill…The $5 trillion BBB bill would have been a handout to Democratic-backed unions, federalizing child-care and pre-K workers into their ranks. It was full of gifts for everyone from rich people living in Democratic states (via the state and local tax deduction) to journalists (via media subsidies).”


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