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House OK’s child tax credit boost

Representative Sander Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said the bill “leads to harm” for low- and middle-income families.

CHARLES DHARAPAK/AP/FILE

Representative Sander Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said the bill “leads to harm” for low- and middle-income families.

WASHINGTON — More families with higher incomes could claim the popular child tax credit under a bill that won approval Friday in the House. But in a dispute that divides Republicans and Democrats, millions of the poorest low-income families would still lose the credit in 2018, when enhancements championed by President Obama expire.

The bill would gradually boost the amount of the $1,000-per-child tax credit by tying it to inflation, so it would go up as consumer prices rise.

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It also aims to make a dent in illegal immigration by prohibiting people without Social Security numbers from claiming a portion of the credit for low-income families.

With nearly all Republicans voting in favor and most Democrats opposed, the bill cleared the House by a vote of 237 to 173. The White House threatened to veto the bill, though the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass it.

About 37 million taxpayers took the credit in 2012, cutting tax bills by nearly $57 billion.

House Republicans say the bill would strengthen the tax credit by increasing it as inflation rises, and by making it available to even more middle-income families.

The White House said the bill favors high-income taxpayers over the poor, while adding $90 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.

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