Uncertainty surrounds potential deals in Congress this week

Scripps News takes a closer look at what new legislation has been proposed in Congress, and whether or not any of it has a chance of becoming law.
Posted at 9:30 PM, Jan 30, 2024

Congress could be on the verge of passing not one, but two very consequential bipartisan pieces of legislation.

The pieces of legislation would impact things like child tax credits and the southern border, but politics could get in the way.

Let's start with the southern border, and issues impacting not just border towns but cities around the country.

The mayor of Denver, for instance, said that migrant services are going to cost Denver over $180 million in 2024.

In December, border patrols had nearly 250,000 encounters with migrants, a record high.

With that as a backdrop, Congress continued to negotiate a possible border deal.

But the politics of this are tricky.

President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have seemingly greenlighted this deal. But former President Donald Trump has come out against it, and that will make it complicated for some Republicans to support it. Speaker Mike Johnson will likely have a big decision if the deal passes the Senate. He has repeatedly criticized this emerging deal as not being strong enough.

Now that's the border — what about taxes?

Congress could be on the verge of passing a bipartisan tax bill too. The $78 billion proposal would make some modest changes to the child tax credit.

For instance, it would raise how much of the current tax credit could be refundable when you file your taxes, making the tax credit potentially much more valuable for low-income families especially. It would increase the amount each year for the next few years and then ultimately tie the child tax credit with the current inflation rate — just like Social Security checks.

Some Democrats say the child tax credit changes are too modest, and the amount needs to be larger. Some Republicans don't like the idea of some undocumented immigrants being eligible for the tax credit.