The White House said about 60% of workers at the IRS – the agency that distributes child tax payments – could be put on leave during a government shutdown.
The next round of child tax credit advance payments, tens of millions of American families, are expected to be released in two weeks. But these parents might wonder what happens if there is a government shutdown this week. What if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling soon?
It appears that any of these may not have an effect on these monthly payments. But the other could.
The Senate is set to vote Thursday to provide government funding to avoid a federal shutdown, keeping operations temporarily through December 3. The House should follow quickly.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that about 60% of IRS workers could be put on leave during a government shutdown, affecting things like answering taxpayer questions, “But we expect the IRS will still be able to continue processing tax refunds, providing the Child Tax Credit.”
The next monthly payment will come out on October 15th, barring a “technical problem” like the one that delayed many payments in September. The payment, which is an advance on money eligible U.S. parents receive at tax time, pays $ 300 per month for each child under age 6 and $ 250 per older child up to age 17.
In another issue facing Congress, the House voted on Wednesday to extend the debt limit until December 16, but this Democratic bill is unlikely to pass the Senate in the face of Republican opposition. – which postpones this debate for another day.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last week that the child tax credit is one of the things that could be at risk if the debt ceiling is not raised.
“We could see indefinite delays in critical payments,” Yellen wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. “Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving Social Security checks for some time. The troops could go unpaid. Millions of families who depend on the monthly child tax credit could experience delays.”
Yellen told Congress she has until October 18. This is when his department will likely exhaust all of its “extraordinary measures” taken to avoid a breach of government obligations.
The United States has never defaulted on its debts in the modern age, and historically both sides have voted to increase the limit. Democrats joined the then-Republican Senate majority in doing so several times during Donald Trump’s presidency, including a suspension of the debt ceiling that expired in August.
But now that Democrats have unified control of Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has ruled out reciprocating.