Sen. Kelly Ayotte Will Extend Unemployment Benefits If Tax Credit To Immigrant Families Is Cut

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., wants to cut a vital tax credit for immigrant families if the Senate plans to temporarily extend benefits for the long-term unemployed.

Ayotte says if the benefits are extended without offsetting them with spending cuts it "would add $6.4 billion to the national debt over the next 10 years."

The Additional Child Tax Credit could be worth up to $1,000 per child, but Ayotte wants the children of undocumented workers to be made ineligible.

She believes the tax credit is being abused by “people who are claiming a refundable tax credit for children who should not be entitled to it.”

“Many of these children do not even live in the United States or may not even exist," she said.

She proposed the amendment on Tuesday that requires all parents claiming the tax credit provide a Social Security number.

Currently the law only requires that the child be an American citizen under age 17 and live with the parent for more than half of the year.

Ayotte believes closing the “loophole” would save $20 billion over the next 10 years.

If undocumented workers lost this credit it could take about $1,800 of the family’s annual income, the National Council of La Raza reported.

Ayotte was one of six Republicans who voted with Democrats on Tuesday to extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months.

Sources: ThinkProgress, New Hampshire Union Leader