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Karl W. Smith

The Senator Who Could Rescue Biden’s Agenda

If the president and his party really want to reduce child poverty, there is a credible plan that even has Republican support. 

Man with a plan.

Man with a plan.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America

The success or failure of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda could depend on a single senator from a mountainous state who has idiosyncratic views and is not especially popular in his own party.

That’s right: Biden’s future may lie in the hands of Mitt Romney. The Utah senator introduced a bill last February that would take a key component of the president’s social policy — the child tax credit, which was part of this year’s American Rescue Plan and would be extended by the moribund Build Back Better legislation — permanent.