SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney unveiled a plan Thursday to send American families $350 a month for each young child and $250 for each school-aged child on an ongoing basis.
The Family Security Act aims to streamline existing federal family policies to create one universal child benefit. The legislation would consolidate many complicated programs to create a monthly cash payment for families without adding to the deficit, according to Romney, R-Utah.
“American families are facing greater financial strain, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and marriage and birth rates are at an all-time low,” Romney said in a statement.
“On top of that, we have not comprehensively reformed our family support system in nearly three decades, and our changing economy has left millions of families behind,” he said. “Now is the time to renew our commitment to families to help them meet the challenges they face as they take on (the) most important work any of us will ever do — raising our society’s children.”
Romney said his proposal would ensure that expecting parents receive the financial help they need associated with preparing for a child, and low-income families would no longer have to choose between a bigger paycheck or maintaining eligibility for government support.
Parents would be eligible to receive the payment four months before their child’s due date, with a maximum monthly payment of $1,250. The plan would immediately lift nearly 3 million children out of poverty, while providing a bridge to the middle class, he said.
The monthly payment would be $350 a month for children ages 0 to 5, $250 a month for children 6 to 17.
The Social Security Administration would administer the payments, which would be available to all children with a Social Security number.
Romney proposes to pay for the plan by eliminating several federal programs and income tax deductions and consolidating overlapping and duplicative federal policies. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the head-of-household tax filing status would be eliminated.
The plan also does away with the state and local tax deduction, which Romney said is an inefficient tax break to upper-income taxpayers. But most families that previously claimed that deduction would net more money through their larger monthly child benefits, he said.
Romney also said the proposal would promote marriage and treat working and stay-at-home parents equally.