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Biden to unveil $1.75 trillion ‘framework’ including climate, childcare, and tax reform plans



White House officials say the “framework” President Joe Biden will announce for his signature Build Back Better Act legislation will include new climate programs, investments in childcare, health care and education, and extended tax credits for parents and low-wage workers — but not the paid family leave package that drew the ire of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.

Mr Biden, who was set to depart for the G20 and COP26 conferences in Rome and Glasgow this morning, has instead delayed his flight to Italy so he can travel the short distance between the White House and Capitol Hill in hopes of smoothing over tensions between progressives — who’ve chafed at the influence moderate senators such as Mr Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema have exerted over the package — and the moderate and conservative House Democrats who have been up in arms over the chamber’s failure to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill which has already passed the Senate.

According to a senior White House official, the president will use the trip to the Capitol — his second this month — to “make the case for this framework to House Democrats and call for its passage, as well as passage of the groundbreaking bipartisan infrastructure structure deal that will create millions of good paying union jobs, grow our economy, invest in communities that have too often and left behind, advanced equity, fight the climate crisis crisis and position the United States to compete globally and men in the 21st century”.

Following his meeting with House Democrats, Mr Biden will return to the White House and deliver a televised address at 11.30 am to lay out the details of the $1.75 trillion package before departing for Europe.

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What Mr Biden will discuss on Thursday is not in any way a final product, as the “framework” must be moulded into legislative language by House and Senate staffers. But the White House maintains that the president is “confident” that what he and his team have hammered out is “a framework that can pass both houses of Congress” and “looks forward to signing it into law”.

Although the plan Mr Biden will unveil will not include paid leave or other progressive priorities such as the prescription drug price reform plan that has been opposed by Ms Sinema, the administration maintains that the package is the result of input from all sides — progressive and moderate, House and Senate.

“We have spent countless hours over the last week working with a very wide array of legislators representing every segment of the party in Congress. They have all been negotiating in good faith with us. We’ve been negotiated in good faith with them. We’ve made enormous progress, and it [the framework] is a product of consultation with both chambers,” the official said.

While the $1.75 trillion package is significantly reduced in size from the more ambitious plans floated by progressives before it became clear that Mr Manchin and Ms Sinema would not support such a massive outlay of funds, what it does include will have at least some impact on the lives of countless Americans from cradle to grave.

For American children, the framework includes funding over six years for universal pre-kindergarten education that will serve more than six million children, as well as childcare tax credits that will cut costs for families earning up to 250% of their state’s median income, also funded for six years.

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Families who’ve benefited from the expanded child tax credit included in the American Rescue Plan Act — signed into law earlier this year by Mr Biden — will get another year of monthly payments from the treasury.

For seniors and persons with disabilities, officials say the Biden framework will also strengthen existing Medicaid programs to provide “affordable, high-quality home care” and improve working conditions for home care workers, as well as expand Medicare to cover the cost of hearing treatment. And Americans of all ages who purchase health insurance through Affordable Care Act exchanges would see the expanded tax credits they’ve received through the American Rescue Plan extended through 2025.

Officials are also touting what the White House is calling “the single largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing history,” a $150 billion investment towards building more than 1 million new affordable rental and single family homes, rental and purchase assistance, and public housing.

“The framework that we have reached … will represent historic progress on so many priorities that progressives have long fought for,” the official said.



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