House Republicans released their tax plan this week, and wealthy heirs should feel very good about it because it provides them with a $172 billion tax cut. But wealthy heir Ivanka Trump may have that feeling diluted by .0000000000000001 percent, because House Republicans also rejected her proposal to double the child tax credit so that it would nominally do more for very poor families. Life is a rollercoaster, truly.
Trump had attached herself to a proposal from Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah to expand the child tax credit to at least $2,000 and make it refundable. The House bill does neither. Instead, it adds $600 to the current $1,000 credit and creates a racist provision that prevents undocumented parents from claiming any of it.
The child tax credit is already wildly insufficient when it comes to meeting the needs of low-income families, but the anti-immigrant provision written into the House bill could still hurt millions of children in the United States with at least one undocumented parent—a predictably cruel idea from this Congress.
“This is not a new idea, it was not a surprise,” Elaine Maag, a senior research associate at the Tax Policy Center, told Business Insider in a comment about the effort to bar undocumented parents from claiming the credit. “It’s still sad because you’re trying to market this bill as something that’s going to help families, using the child tax credit as a fig leaf, and even within the fig leaf you’re hurting children.”
Meanwhile, Trump, who has previously said that she only wants to be judged on how she delivers on the “initiatives I came to DC to take on,” and has spent the last several weeks taking precisely this initiative on, has said essentially nothing about the House’s rejection of her pet issue in favor of more cruelty toward immigrants. Instead, she has spent the last few days documenting her trip to Japan and pretending this long-awaited tax proposal doesn’t exist.
It’s possible the Senate proposal will reject the anti-immigrant language around the child tax credit and include the Rubio-Lee provisions, or maybe just the latter. But we will still have in place the same broad policy strokes that steal from almost everyone in order to give more to the rich—with crumbs thrown to the poorest families in the form of a nominally expanded child tax credit. These are the terms Trump has been advocating for under the banner of helping working families, and this is what she will call a victory.