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Biden to unveil $1.8 trillion plan for children and families — here’s what’s in it


U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the administration’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response outside the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2021.

Kevin Lemarque | Rueters

President Joe Biden on Wednesday will pitch Congress on $1.8 trillion in new spending and tax credits aimed toward children, students and families, senior administration officials said.

Biden will unveil the massive new package less than a month after the White House put forward a sweeping proposal to spend more than $2 trillion over eight years on infrastructure and other projects. Together, the plans comprise the Biden administration’s vision to overhaul the U.S. economy as the nation seeks to recover from, and look beyond, the coronavirus pandemic.

The new proposal, which includes about $1 trillion in investments and $800 billion in tax credits over a decade, will be fully offset in 15 years in part by raising the amount of taxes paid by the richest Americans, the White House said.

Here’s some of what the new plan calls for:

  • $225 billion toward high-quality childcare and ensuring families pay only a portion of their income toward childcare services, based on a sliding scale
  • $225 billion to create a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program
  • $200 billion for free universal pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds, offered through a national partnership with states
  • $109 billion toward ensuring two years of free community college for all students
  • About $85 billion toward Pell Grants, and increasing the maximum award by about $1,400 for low-income students
  • A $62 billion grant program to increase college retention and completion rates
  • A $39 billion program that gives two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a four-year historically black college or university, tribal college or university, or minority-serving institution
  • $45 billion toward meeting child nutritional needs, including by expanding access to the summer EBT program
  • $200 billion to make permanent the $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus plan’s provision lowering health insurance premiums for those who buy coverage on their own
  • Extending through 2025, and making permanently fully refundable, the Child Tax Credit expansion that was included in the Covid relief bill
  • Making permanent the recent expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
  • Making permanent the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers

“These are investments that we can’t afford not to make as a country,” a senior administration official said Tuesday night in a conference call with reporters.

To fund the laundry list of programs and tax perks, the proposal would, in part, reverse key pieces of the 2017 tax-cut law, the key legislative achievement of former President Donald Trump’s first year in office.

The Biden administration’s new spending plan would hike the top income tax rate to 39.6% for the wealthiest Americans. That rate had been cut to 37% for married couples with over $600,000 in taxable income as part of the 2017 law.

The plan would also seek to close a series of so-called tax loopholes, and raise taxes on capital gains to 39.6% for households making more than $1 million.

The Biden administration maintains that under the new plan, no one making $400,000 a year or less will see their taxes go up.

Biden is set to detail the plan Wednesday night, during an in-person address before a joint session of Congress that also lays out his administration’s broader legislative priorities going forward. The event comes of the eve of Biden’s 100th day in office.

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