Taxes, Local weather, Healthcare: NPR
Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budgets Committee, speaks to reporters after lunching with President Biden and the Senate Democrats in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Drew Angerer / Getty Images Hide caption
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
A budget agreement announced Tuesday by the Senate’s budget committee includes major investments in climate initiatives, extends child tax credit expansion, and funds universal Pre-K.
The $ 3.5 trillion sweeping resolution still has a long way to go, but the White House hailed it as a “breakthrough” on one of President Biden’s top legislative priorities. Biden was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to raise support.
Legislators have so far only offered an outline of the plan – and few details about payment. Many details have yet to be worked out in the coming weeks, but how to pay for this is crucial. Senate Democrats need every member of their group – even the most moderate ones – to close the budget. The price is high and a potential hurdle in the Senate, while in the House of Representatives the most progressive members may argue that it doesn’t go far enough.
Here are the highlights of what we know so far about the resolution from a senior democratic advisor:
Total cost: $ 3.5 trillion
How to pay: A senior Democratic adviser says the plan is to tap into three main areas to offset the cost: healthcare savings, including prescription drugs; Tax code changes for high income individuals and businesses; long-term economic growth. The plan prohibits tax increases for families earning less than $ 400,000 a year, small businesses, and family businesses.
Extension of the child tax deduction: The decision would extend the expansion of the child tax credit that was decided upon as part of the coronavirus relief. Qualifying families will receive money every month from Thursday until the end of the year. The budget proposal would extend this temporary program. Many Democrats want to make this loan permanent, but the length of the extension will depend on the final details decided by the bill-making committee.
Climate initiatives: The draft budget aims to meet Biden’s goal of 80% clean electricity and 50% CO2 emissions by 2030 through clean energy incentives and vehicle taxes, a clean energy standard and other initiatives. It would also set up a civilian climate corps.
American Family Plan Programs: The resolution takes up key programs proposed by the President, including universal pre-K; Investing in quality and affordable childcare; Funding community colleges, historically black colleges, and universities and institutions that serve minorities. It would also put more money into paid family and sick leave, food aid, and affordable housing.
Health and home care programs: The resolution adds new benefits to Medicare for dental, visual and hearing aids; Expands the Expansion of the Affordable Care Act Introduced by the American Rescue Plan; expands home and community services; and reduces patient spending on prescription drugs.
Support for employees and companies: The plan would invest in housing and small businesses, and would give “employee incentives and penalties”.