Congress had not yet resolved its disputes on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan at press time for this newsletter. However, a deal on the plan was so close the Biden administration issued a summary of the bill expected to survive. On Oct. 28, 2021, the White House predicted the bill would provide:
Investments in Children, Families and Caregiving
- Universal Preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds: Expand access to free preschool for more than 6 million children and funding for six years.
- Affordable Child Care: Limit child care costs for families to no more than 7% of income, for families earning up to 250% of state median income. The bill affects 20 million children of parents who are working, seeking work, in training or taking care of a serious health issue. Funding included is for six years.
- Affordable Care for Older Americans and People with Disabilities: Strengthen an existing program through Medicaid and end the existing backlog; and improve working conditions for home care workers
- Expanded Child Tax Credit: Extend for one year the current expanded Child Tax Credit for more than 35 million American households, with monthly payments for households earning up to $150,000 per year. The bill makes refundability of the Child Tax Credit permanent.
Investments in Clean Energy and Combatting Climate Change
- Clean Energy Tax Credits ($320 billion): Ten-year expanded tax credits for utility-scale and residential clean energy, transmission and storage, clean passenger and commercial vehicles, and clean energy manufacturing.
- Resilience Investments ($105 billion): Investments and incentives to address extreme weather (wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes, including in forestry, wetlands, and agriculture), legacy pollution in communities, and a Civilian Climate Corps.
- Investments and Incentives for Clean Energy Technology, Manufacturing, and Supply Chains ($110 billion): Targeted incentives to spur new domestic supply chains and technologies such as solar, batteries, and advanced materials, while boosting the competitiveness of existing industries
- Clean Energy procurement ($20 billion): Provide incentives for government to be purchaser of next gen technologies, including long-duration storage, small modular reactors, and clean construction materials.
Affordable Health Care
- Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credits: Extend the expanded Affordable Care Act premium tax credits through 2025 to avoid 3 million people otherwise uninsured to have health insurance. Also make Affordable Care Act premium tax credits available through 2025 to 4 million uninsured people in uncovered states.
- Allow Medicare to cover the cost of hearing. Establish a hearing benefit in Medicare, a crucial benefit to our seniors for a reasonable cost.
- Repeal the Trump Administration Rebate Rule, Which Would Have Increased Seniors’ Drug Premiums
- Reduce Cost of Prescription Drugs
Supports to Strengthen the Middle Class
- Housing: $150 billion investment in housing affordability and reducing price pressures, including in rural areas. Funds go towards building more than 1 million new affordable rental and single-family homes, rental and down payment assistance, and public housing.
- Education Beyond High School and Workforce Development: Reduce costs and expand access to education beyond high school by raising the maximum Pell grant, providing support to Historically Black Colleges & Universities (“HBCUs”), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Minority Serving Institutions (“MSIs”), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (“TCUs”), and investing in workforce development, including community college workforce programs, sector- based training, and apprenticeships.
- Earned Income Tax Credit for 17 Million Low-Wage Workers: Extend for one year the current expanded Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers.
- Equity and Other Investments: Investments in maternal health, community violence initiatives, Native communities, disadvantaged farmers, nutrition, pandemic preparedness, and supply chain resilience
Improvements to the Immigration System
Sources of Funding for the Programs (Offsets):
Stop Rewarding Corporations for Shipping Jobs and Profits Overseas
- Global Minimum Tax
- Penalty Rate for Foreign Corporations Based in Non-Compliant Countries (i.e. Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax)
Ask Highest Income Americans to Pay Their Fair Share
- New Surtax on Multi-Millionaires and Billionaires
- Close Medicare Self-Employment Tax Loophole by Strengthening the Net Investment Income
Tax for Those Making Over $400,000
- Continue Limitation on Excess Business Losses
- Invest in IRS Enforcement.