WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden’s $ 1.85 trillion plan to expand social and educational programs and protect against global warming continues to be refined by Democrats in Congress with a new goal to complete before Thanksgiving.
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. Some suggestions were discarded altogether.
The House of Representatives is working to pass the law soon, but the Senate will still have to pass it where amendments are possible.
This structure corresponds to a budget of approximately $ 1.85 trillion over 10 years, rather than the originally envisaged $ 3.5 trillion budget plan.
Here’s what’s in the package, based on summaries provided by the White House and House of Representatives.
– Extended Child Tax Credit 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. Households with an income of up to $ 150,000 a year receive a loan on a monthly basis. Budget hawks worry 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.
– The Extended Earned Income Tax Credit, which is available to 17 million childless low-paid workers, will run for one year.
– Universal preschools will be created for all three- and four-year-olds, and childcare subsidies will be provided to poor and middle-class Americans. But the programs are only funded for six years.
– $ 40 billion will be allocated for higher education and workforce development. This includes increasing Pell grants and providing funding to colleges and universities historically for blacks, as well as institutions that primarily serve Hispanic students or tribal communities.
– Medicare will be expanded with hearing aids, which will cost about $ 35 billion over 10 years.
– Expanded insurance premium tax credits associated with the Affordable Care Act will be extended until 2025. The White House says it will help 3 million uninsured people get coverage.
– $ 150 billion in Medicaid that supports home health care, helps bridge gaps and improve working conditions.
– $ 90 billion in investments that will include funding for maternal health, community violence initiatives, disadvantaged farmers, nutrition and pandemic preparedness.
– Personal spending on Medicare Part D for American Seniors will be capped at $ 2,000 and the price of insulin will be reduced to no more than $ 35 per dose.
– The Medicare Drug Negotiation Program will be created. Each year, the Minister of Health and Human Services will identify 100 brand-name drugs that have no price competition, and from this list, agree the prices of up to 10 drugs in 2025, 15 in 2026 and 2027, and then up to 20. Products with insulin should also be negotiable. The drug selected for negotiation will continue to be included in the program until competition enters the market.
– The Biden plan states that parents earning up to 250% of the state’s median income must pay no more than 7% of their income to care for children. Parents must be working, looking for a job, going to school, or dealing with health problems to be eligible for participation.
– $ 150 billion will be spent on housing affordability to build more than 1 million new rental and single-family homes. The goal will be to reduce price pressures by providing rental assistance and down payment.
– Clean Energy Tax Credits will receive $ 320 billion in funding. These loans will help businesses and homeowners switch to renewable energy sources for electricity, vehicles and manufacturing over 10 years.
– $ 105 billion will be spent on 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 Civil Climate Corps, which will focus on conserving public lands and making people more resilient to floods, droughts and other extreme weather conditions.
– $ 110 billion will help develop new domestic supply chains and develop new solar and battery technologies. Support will also be provided to existing metallurgical, cement and aluminum industries.
– $ 20 billion will be set aside for the government to become a purchaser of clean energy technologies through the procurement process.
– $ 9 billion will be allocated to lead recovery projects, such as replacing water lines or replacing school drinking water fountains that may contain lead.
– The Biden Plan supports the IRS to improve tax collection and reduce the gap between taxes owed and paid.
– A minimum income tax of 15% will apply to large corporations together with a 1% surcharge on corporate share buybacks. The US will also join an agreement reached by more than 100 countries to keep multinationals from holding profits in low-tax countries.
– The bill will create a new income tax for multimillionaires and billionaires and close a provision that allows some wealthy taxpayers to avoid paying the 3.8% Medicare tax on their income.
– The $ 10,000 cap for state and local tax deductions will be increased to $ 72,500. Tax analysts say the change will largely benefit high-income households.
– Those who entered the United States prior to January 2, 2011 and have resided there since then will be eligible for a revolving parole grant for five years after paying an administrative fee and passing security checks and background checks. Parole status grants recipients permission to travel and work in the United States and qualifies them for a Real ID driver’s license or state ID.
PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
– Eligible workers will receive up to four weeks of paid leave to compensate for the time spent caring for a new child or other family members or recovering from illness. Biden originally offered 12 weeks of paid family vacation.
WHAT IS NOT IN THE ACCOUNT
– There is no proposal to expand Medicare to cover dental and ophthalmic services due to cost concerns.
– There is no offer to provide up to two years of free college tuition.