President Joe Biden released details about his updated $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” social spending plan Thursday.
Prior to his scheduled departure to Europe for the G-20 and COP26 summits, Biden appeared at a news briefing where he delivered his remarks on the spending plan, calling it a “historic economic framework.”
“It’s a framework that will create millions of jobs, grow the economy, invest in our nation and our people, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity and put us on a path not only to compete but to win the economic competition for the 21st century against China and every other major country in the world,” Biden said.
According to information provided to journalists by the White House, the plan calls for setting aside $400 billion for “affordable, high quality” child care and universal preschool for all 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds.
For affordable, quality home care, the framework allots $150 billion while $200 billion goes towards child tax and earned income tax credits.
The plan allocates $555 billion for clean energy and climate investments and $40 billion in investments into higher education and the workforce.
The plan sets aside $130 billion for Affordable Care Act credits, including for those in uncovered states, and the government, under the plan, would invest $35 billion in the expansion of Medicare to cover the cost of hearing.
Affordable housing would receive $150 billion in order to expand, and $90 billion is earmarked for equity and other investments, according to the plan.
Besides spending on the aforementioned areas, the plan also sets aside $100 billion to “improve our immigration system consistent with the Senate’s Reconciliation rules,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“We spent hours and hours and hours over months and months working on this. No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that’s what compromise is. That’s consensus, and that’s what I ran on,” Biden said in his press remarks.
“I’ve long said compromise and consensus are the only way to get big things done in a democracy, important things done for the country. I know it’s hard. I know how deeply people feel about the things that they fight for, but this framework includes historic investments in our nation and in our people.”
“We can’t be competitive in the 21st century global economy if we continue this slide,” the President added.
“That’s why I’ve said all along we need to build America up from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down, with the trickle-down economics that’s always failed us. I can’t think of a single time when the middle class has done well that the wealthy haven’t done very well. I can think of many times, including now, when the wealthy and super-wealthy do very well and the middle class don’t do well.”
“That’s why I proposed the investments Congress is now considering in two critical pieces of legislation, positions I ran on as president, positions that I announced when I laid out in a joint session of Congress what my economic agenda was,” Biden said.
“These are not about left versus right or moderate versus progressive or anything else that pits Americans against one another. This is about competitiveness versus complacency, competitiveness versus complacency. It’s about expanding opportunity, not opportunity to deny. It’s about leading the world.”
Although the Biden administration did not provide final numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, officials, according to the Examiner, estimated “‘that the measures that the president put on the table asking the highest-income Americans [and] large corporations to pay their fair share would generate’ $1.995 trillion in savings.”
The officials, according to the Examiner, believe that the aforementioned offsets would come through “repealing the Trump administration’s rebate rule,” placing a 15 percent minimum tax on “corporate profits that large corporations with over a billion in top profits report for their shareholders,” a 1 percent tax on stock buybacks, a 15 percent minimum tax on the profits U.S. corporations make overseas, “a penalty rate for corporations based in countries that do not comply with Biden’s global minimum tax, and a new surtax on the top 0.2 percent of people that applies a 5 percent rate on income above $10 million and an additional 3 percent rate on income above $25 million.”
According to the Examiner, Biden administration officials refused to confirm if policymakers, such as Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, had given their green light to the framework the Biden administration touted.
“A number of demands from top liberal lawmakers, such as paid family leave and giving Medicare the ability to negotiate prescription drug prices, did not make it into the final framework of the bill, though officials promised the president would continue to fight for those proposals in future,” the Examiner reported.
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