Trump offers, Democrats reject fix for $600 jobless benefit

Congressional leadership including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, arrive to watch the flag-draped casket of the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., as is carried by a joint services military honor guard from Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP)

HOUSE

Expanding tax credits for child care: Voting 250-161, the House on Wednesday passed a bill (HR 7327) that would make the child and dependent care tax credit fully refundable; create a new tax credit to help child care providers pay rent, mortgage and utility costs; guarantee $10 billion per year over five years in infrastructure grants to help child care centers address health hazards such as mold, lead paint and poor ventilation; designate child care personnel as "essential workers" eligible for benefits including pay bumps because they perform a hazardous public service during the pandemic, and reimburse these essential workers for their own child care costs.

At present, households filing federal tax returns can claim a child and dependent care credit of up to $3,000 per child 12 or younger or $6,000 for two or more children in the same age range. In addition, they can claim a $3,000 or $6,000 credit to offset the cost of caring for spouses or dependents older than 12 who are mentally or physically incapable of self-care. By making these credits fully refundable, the bill enables low-income working families to receive Treasury checks of $3,000 per qualified individual (or $6,000 for multiple individuals) even if they have no tax liability.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd: YES

Andy Kim, D-3rd: YES

Providing $50 billion for child care: Voting 249-163, the House on Wednesday passed a bill (HR 7027) that would appropriate $50 billion in fiscal 2020 to help child care providers stay in business during the pandemic so parents can return to work. The funding would be used to subsidize in-home services as well as licensed child care operations of all sizes, and it could be used to prop up functioning centers or reopen those forced to close because of the pandemic. A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: YES

Defeating GOP child care alternative: Voting 195-212, the House on Wednesday defeated a package of proposed Republican changes to HR 7027 (above) that sought, in part, to qualify unlicensed child care sites run by churches and public camps to receive grants under the bill and require grant recipients to demonstrate competence in recognizing and addressing child abuse. A yes vote was to adopt the GOP child care plan.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: NO

Defunding Affordable Care Act litigation: The House on Thursday voted 234-181 to deny funding of the Department of Justice's participation in a lawsuit brought by Republican governors and attorneys general to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The suit is pending before the Supreme Court, and the Trump administration has filed a brief there calling for the law to be struck down. The defunding language was added to a bill (HR 7617), later passed, that would appropriate $33.2 billion for the department along with more than $1 trillion to fund the budgets of numerous other Cabinet departments and agencies in fiscal 2021. A yes vote was to block the funding.

Van Drew: YES

Kim: YES

SENATE

Confirming Trump budget official: Voting 71-21, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Derek Tai-Ching Kan as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, putting him second in charge of an agency that directs budget and regulatory policies for the White House. Kan joined the administration in 2017 to serve as a Department of Transportation undersecretary, and before that he was an Amtrak board member and executive with the Lyft transportation company. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

Robert Menendez, D: NO

Cory Booker, D: Not voting

Source: Richard Thomas, Voterama in Congress

Editorial Clerk

I interned with a small magazine in Wildwood before starting at The Press in 2013. I currently handle our Hometown and At The Shore calendar of events submissions and enjoy interacting with the local community.

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