President Joe Biden will propose a sweeping $1.8 trillion plan Wednesday for national paid family leave, universal pre-kindergarten, free community college and subsidized child care in what would be a dramatic federal expansion of the social safety net for families and children.
Biden is set to formally introduce his American Families Plan at his first address before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night. It’s the second piece of his “Build Back Better” economic agenda following the release of a $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan released earlier this month.
Billed as “generational investments in our future” to out-compete China and transform the U.S. economy, the families plan includes $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, according to senior administration officials who agreed to discuss the specifics on the condition of anonymity. An additional $800 billion would cover targeted tax credits for the middle class.
The proposal to Congress would be paid for through a crackdown on taxloopholes used by high-income tax-filers. Biden also wants to nearly double the capital gains tax from a 20% rate to 39.6% for households making more than $1 million, among other changes.
$225 billion each for national paid leave and child care programs
The plan – certain to be sharply criticized by Republicans who already oppose his jobs plan – includes $225 billion for a national paid family and medical leave program. It would offer workers partial employment assistance for three months to be with a new child, rehabilitate from an illness, care for a disabled loved one, deal with a partner’s military deployment or address emergencies.
Up to $4,000 per month would be available in paid leave for individuals who participate, with a minimum of two-thirds of average weekly wages and increasing to 80% for the lowest wage workers.
An additional $225 billion would go toward covering child care costs for low income and middle class parents with children five or younger. It comes as more women left the workforce last year to care for young children during the coronavirus pandemic. A study cited by the White House found $57 billion in lost earnings and productivity because of a lack of child care options.
The program would pay for all child care costs of the neediest families. Those who earn 1.5 times their state median income would pay no more than 7% of their income on child care.
The plan would also set a…
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