Here’s what’s in Biden’s $1.85 trillion plan.

By Jim Tankersley and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, The New York Times, Oct. 28, 2021.

President Biden met with lawmakers on Thursday morning to lay out a framework on a $1.85 trillion effort to spend heavily on climate change, child care and a wide range of other economic programs, paid for by an estimated $2 trillion in tax increases on corporations and high earners, though it was not immediately clear if it has the votes to pass.

White House officials refused to say if all holdout Democrats in Congress had expressed support for the framework, which still may change.

The framework leaves out several key planks of the economic agenda that Mr. Biden laid out on the campaign trail and shortly after taking office. It does nothing to reduce prescription drug costs for seniors, and it omits what would have been the nation’s first federally guaranteed paid family and medical leave for workers. It does not include free community college for all, as Mr. Biden had promised. It would expand Medicare coverage to include hearing, but not vision or dental services.

The key provisions of the proposal include:

  • $555 billion to fight climate change, largely through tax incentives for low-emission sources of energy.
  • $400 billion to provide universal prekindergarten to 3- and 4-year-olds, and to significantly reduce child care costs for working families earning up to $300,000 a year.
  • $200 billion to extend an expanded tax credit for parents through 2022, and to permanently allow parents to benefit from the child tax credit even if they do not earn enough money to have income tax liability.
  • $165 billion to reduce health care premiums for people who are covered through the Affordable Care Act, to provide insurance for an additional four million people through Medicaid and to offer hearing coverage through Medicare.
  • $150 billion to reduce a waiting list for in-home care for seniors and disabled Americans, and to improve wages for home health care workers.
  • $150 billion to build one million affordable housing units.
  • $100 billion for immigration streamlining, in part to reduce a backlog of nine million visas. House Democrats proposed provisions last month to address the legal immigration system, including a plan to recapture hundreds of thousands of unused visas various administrations failed to use over several decades and allow green card applicants to pay higher fees to expedite their processing. The investment outlined on Thursday would also expand legal representation for migrants and streamline processing at the southwest border, officials said. Mr. Biden has faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for his handling of migration to the border.
  • $40 billion for worker training and higher education, including increasing annual Pell grants by $550.

Offsetting that spending is an estimated $2 trillion in revenue increases, including:

  • A 15 percent minimum tax on the reported profits of large corporations.
  • Efforts to reduce profit-shifting by multinational companies, including a separate 15 percent minimum tax on profits earned by U.S. companies abroad — and tax penalties for companies that have their headquarters in global tax havens.
  • A 1 percent tax on corporate stock buybacks.
  • Increased enforcement for large corporations and the wealthy at the Internal Revenue Service.
  • An additional 5 percent tax on incomes exceeding $10 million a year and another 3 percent tax on incomes above $25 million.
  • Efforts to limit business losses for the very wealthy and to impose a 3.8 percent Medicare tax on certain people earning more than $400,000 a year who did not previously pay that tax.
Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz released the following statement:
“President Biden and Democrats are close to passing an ambitious and popular agenda that will enhance the quality of life of Floridians and all Americans. It will help to boost our economy, create good-paying jobs, improve health care options for seniors, address the challenges brought on by climate change and bring tax relief and lower costs to middle class families.
“It is further proof that Democrats are delivering for the American people. While Republicans are busy validating conspiracy theories and stoking divisive culture wars, Democrats are working every day to find solutions to our nation’s challenges and addressing the people’s needs and aspirations.
“Although I am disappointed that every single Florida Republican member of Congress has bitterly opposed this agenda from its inception, I am not surprised. The Republican Party is bereft of ideas, purpose and courage. Democrats were put in charge to take action and work to improve the lives of Americans, and this agenda shows what can be accomplished when you set ambitious goals and do the work needed to accomplish them.
“We have a ways to go, but this represents a bold, concrete step towards creating a nation with a fairer economy that works for all. I congratulate Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, the Democratic members of Congress, and every activist at the local level that helped provide the impetus and momentum to get us to this point.”

Image Credits: Associated Press

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