Virus Outbreak Congress (copy)

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo, speaks during a Senate hearing in an undated photo. Hawley hopes President Joe Biden will endorse his plan to give families with children a direct payment each month.

President Joe Biden addressed Congress for the first time Wednesday where he pitched a tax credit to working families, a priority of Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley.

Hawley rolled out a plan that would give $6,000 to $12,000 to “working families” via monthly payments. The president pitched $2 billion to provide free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and $225 billion to subsidize child care for families and support child care workers.

Under the president’s plan, families earning 1.5 times their state median income would pay a maximum of 7% of their income for all children under age 5.

Hawley’s plan would provide a payment, via a tax credit, each month to families who have a child under the age of 13. One parent would be allowed to stay home, he said, unlike current programs that require both to enter the workforce. At least one parent would have to report an income greater than a 20-hour workweek at the federal minimum wage.

“This I think would be a really important way to help parents address the cost of having kids and just have the flexibility to raise their kids at home or however they want to do it,” Hawley told News-Press NOW. “I hope the president will embrace something like that tonight, but I’m not holding my breath.”

Single parents would receive $6,000 annually while married couples who file a joint tax return would receive $12,000.

Biden has a different plan, though it’s also in the form of a tax credit. The credits would cover as much as half of a family’s spending on care for children under age 13, up to a total of $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for two or more children.

The president’s American Rescue Plan, which passed earlier this year, provides families $3,000 for every child aged 6 to 17 and $3,600 for a child under 6. The program is not permanent.

Biden’s address to Congress is considered a “joint address” instead of a “state of the union” because of tradition. When he addresses Congress a second time, it will be considered a state of the union.

The president also is expected to propose raising the capital gains tax on the top 0.3% from 20% to 36.9%.

The Associated Press

contributed to this report.

Matt Hoffmann can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @NpNowHoffmann.

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