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Sen. Romney unveils Family Security Act to update 'antiquated federal policies'

US Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has proposed a new plan to modernize "antiquated federal policies" related to children and families, allowing them to receive a monthly cash allowance.

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Nicole Russell Texas US
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US Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has proposed a new plan to modernize "antiquated federal policies" related to children and families, allowing them to receive a monthly cash allowance.

The Family Security Act "would provide a monthly cash benefit for families, amounting to $350 a month for each young child, and $250 a month for each school-aged child," according to a summary of the plan listed on his Senate web site. Romney posits that the plan will cut child poverty "by up to one-third in America" as well as promote marriage and provide "equal treatment for both working and stay-at-home parents," among other things.

"American families are facing an extraordinary amount of financial strain, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic," the overview reads.

"Marriage and birth rates in the United States have both steadily fallen to all-time lows. Yet, the average desired family size has remained stable for the last 40 years. Our family support and welfare system has not seen comprehensive reform since 1996, while the modern economy has left families further behind. Instead of flexible, transparent assistance to meet these rising challenges, families are forced to navigate a maze of complicated programs with few assurances."

Romney promises that "If enacted, low-income families would no longer have to choose between a bigger paycheck or eligibility for support. This plan would immediately lift nearly three million children out of poverty, while providing a bridge to the middle class—without adding a dime to the federal deficit."

Here's how the plan works: Parents of children ages 0-5 years old would receive $4,200 annually or $350 per month, and parents of children ages 6-17 years old would receive $3,000 annually or $250 per month.

Parents can apply to begin the plan, which would be administered through the Social Security Administration, about half way through mom’s pregnancy--the maximum monthly payment would be $1,250 per family. "The annual child benefit is reduced by $50 for every $1,000 above the current Child Tax Credit (CTC) income phaseout thresholds of $200,000 for single-filers and $400,000 for joint-filers," the plan states.

Romney believes the "Family Security Act" would simplify the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) since the benefit doesn’t vary based on the number of dependents. It would also eliminate marriage penalties, and reduce improper payments and IRS audits, among other things.

The belief is that a monthly child allowance would allow the government to consolidate or cut unnecessary programs like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC), and the "head of household" (HoH) tax filing status.

What would the plan look like in real life? A married couple with two children, ages four and nine, making $38,990 "currently receives an end-of-year lump sum tax return of $7,041." If the "Family Security Act" was implemented, "their annual benefit would increase by $2,318, and they would receive over 75 percent of their total amount through predictable monthly installments."

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