Monday, September 26, 2022

What is included and what is not, as Biden proposes an abbreviated plan

WASHINGTON – After months of talks with Democratic lawmakers, President Joe Biden on Thursday outlined a $ 1.75 trillion program to support families and education, and protect against global warming.

The updated plan includes a one-stop preschool, funding to cap childcare costs, and a one-year extension of the child tax credit, which was expanded earlier this year and is applicable to more families. But Democrats are cutting back on some investment and funding timelines to cut costs.

This structure is in line with a budget of approximately $ 1.75 trillion over 10 years, rather than the originally envisaged $ 3.5 trillion budget plan. Paid family leave and free community college were canceled, and the increased Medicare coverage was cut.

Nonetheless, Democrats hope these programs will prove so popular that future Congresses will continue to fund them in the years to come. It seems unlikely that any Republican will support this measure.

Negotiations are going fast and the package is changing very quickly. It will also not be possible to fully appreciate the details until the text of the law is published. But according to the Biden administration, here’s where the basics lie so far:

– The increase in the tax credit for children will continue for another year. As part of the COVID relief bill, Democrats increased the tax credit to $ 3,000 for a child ages 6-17 and to $ 3,600 for a child aged 5 and under. Budget hawks fear that the one-year extension is a budgetary instrument that will, on paper, lower the cost of a program, but mask its true costs, as legislators tend to keep programs going rather than letting them expire.

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– Medicare will expand to include hearing aids, but not dental and visual aids. Sensor Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona objected to other components. Hearing aid expansion will cost $ 35 billion over 10 years.

– Expanded insurance premium tax credits associated with the Affordable Care Act will be extended until 2025. The White House said it would help 3 million uninsured people get coverage.

– Allocate $ 150 billion in affordable housing to build over 1 million new rental and single-family homes. The goal will be to reduce price pressures by providing rental assistance and down payment.

– Extend the Extended Earned Income Tax Credit to 17 million childless workers within one year.

– Universal preschools for all three- and four-year-olds and childcare subsidies for poor and middle-class Americans still exist. But only for six years.

– Provide $ 40 billion for higher education and workforce development. This includes increases in Pell grants, funding for colleges and universities that have historically been black, and institutions where students are primarily Hispanic or serve tribal communities.

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– Biden’s plan encourages parents earning up to 250% of the state’s median income to pay no more than 7% of their income for childcare. To use this program, parents must be working, looking for a job, going to school, or solving health problems.

– Fund $ 320 billion in clean energy tax credits. These loans will help businesses and homeowners switch to renewable energy sources for electricity, vehicles and manufacturing over 10 years.

– Invest $ 105 billion in investments that will improve the ability of communities to withstand extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. The funding will also enable the creation of the Civilian Climate Corps.

– Provide $ 110 billion to help develop new domestic supply chains and develop new solar and battery technologies. The existing steel, cement and aluminum industries will also be supported.

– Use $ 20 billion to have the government become a purchaser of clean energy technologies through the procurement process.

– Provide $ 150 billion for Medicaid, which supports home health care, helps bridge gaps, and improves working conditions.

– Provide $ 90 billion in investment that will include funding for maternal health, community violence initiatives, disadvantaged farmers, nutrition and pandemic preparedness.

Nation World News Desk
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