White House officials have begun laying out the contents of President Joe Biden’s sweeping plan to expand the social safety net for its allies inside and outside of Congress as they get ready to move on Capitol Hill without Republican support.
A memo obtained by CNN shows top Biden officials sketching out the key provisions of the plan, which is separate from the bipartisan infrastructure deal that the President celebrated with senators from both parties last month. That bipartisan deal includes heavy investments in “hard” infrastructure like roads, bridges, railroads, pipes and airports.
The memo obtained by CNN lays out the plan to get the second part of a two-track legislative agenda approved and is focused on what Biden calls “human infrastructure.” This “human infrastructure” proposal includes large-scale investments in paid family leave, education, child care, health care and clean energy. The memo, the first of its kind outlining the framework of the plan, was sent to members of Congress, top advocacy organizations and think tanks on Friday, according to a source familiar.
The “human infrastructure” proposal will include policies that did not make it into the bipartisan infrastructure framework, as well as the contents of Biden’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan. The President took his sales pitch for “generational investments in human infrastructure” to Crystal Lake, Illinois, earlier this week.
The Friday memo was sent by Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council; Jen Klein, the Gender Policy Council co-chair and executive director; Gina McCarthy, Biden’s national climate adviser; and Susan Rice, the President’s domestic policy adviser.
The memo outlines Biden’s push to make Affordable Care Act enhanced subsidies, also known as premium tax credits, permanent.
The President is also pushing for two years of free community college and universal preschool, 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, large-scale investments in housing, expansion of free school meals, expansion of home health care, investment in job training programs, more money for research and development, and an expansion of teacher preparation programs.
Biden is looking to extend the child tax credit, which was enhanced by the American Rescue Plan earlier this year, and make the credit permanently refundable. The boost to the child tax credit gave eligible parents a total of $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for each child under age 18 for 2021.
The plan also focuses on combating the climate crisis and would provide clean energy tax credit and establish an Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard. It would create a Civilian Climate Corps to work on conserving public lands and waters and advancing environmental justice. These new initiatives and policies aim to help Biden reach his goal of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035.
The President’s proposal would also extend the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion, which was passed under the American Rescue Plan and was the largest expansion to that credit since 2009.
The plan would invest $3 billion in inspecting and removing lead-based paint from 175,000 housing units and $40 billion in improving the quality and energy efficiency of public housing.
Democrats are planning to use a process called budget reconciliation to pass the legislation through Congress without needing any Republican support. This will work only if they have every Democratic senator on board, and if Democrats have enough votes to pass the legislation in the House.
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