What we know so far
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(NEXSTAR) – As internal party strife continues to suppress elements of President Joe Biden’s broad domestic policy agenda, there may be good news for parents.
While it’s not clear what the final bill will include, Democrats on Thursday arrived at a framework for the deal that included a one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit.
As part of the American Rescue Plan adopted in March, the existing tax credit increased from $ 2,000 per child to $ 3,600 per child under 6, including $ 3,000 for children ages 6 to 16. years. Qualifying families can receive a monthly payment of up to $ 300 per child.
The program should reduce child poverty by more than half, according to the US Department of the Treasury.
‘Let’s do that’
Eager to have a deal in hand before his late afternoon departure for world summits, Biden pleaded his case privately on Capitol Hill to House Democrats and publicly in a speech at the White House. He is now pushing for a still strong package – $ 1.75 trillion in social services and climate change programs – which the White House says can be passed by the Senate at 50-50.
The rapid developments bring Democrats closer to a hotly contested deal, but battles remain as they push to complete the final draft in the days and weeks to come.
“Let’s do this,” Biden urged.
“It will fundamentally change the lives of millions of people for the better,” he said of the package, which he had longed for before. the tops show the world that American democracy still works.
Faced with resistance from two members of his own party, Biden and the Democrats, however, had to dismantle some major elements of the spending plan.
A difficult friday
Fallout was brutal on Friday after Biden announced a $ 1.75 trillion frame, chiseled from an initial $ 3.5 trillion plan, has still failed to garner the rock-solid support of two key recalcitrant senators – West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizonan Kyrsten Sinema. On Capitol Hill, Congress adjourned the day before with pointed fingers, hot temper and so much at stake for the president and his party.
While a lot has been taken out of Biden’s bigger picture, a long list of priorities still stands in the mix with the expanded child tax credit: new child care subsidies, free preschool for all. youth, expanded health care programs – including the launch of a new $ 35 billion hearing aid benefit for people on Medicare – and $ 555 billion to fight climate change.
Other expanded health care programs build on the Affordable Care Act by funding grants to help people purchase insurance policies and providing coverage in states that have refused the expansion of Medicaid to. ‘Obamacare.
An additional $ 100 billion to strengthen the immigration system could raise the overall amount to $ 1.85 trillion if it erases Senate rules.
Republicans remain overwhelmingly opposed, forcing Biden to lean on the narrow majority of Democrats in Congress, with no voice to spare in the Senate and little in the House.
Biden’s proposal would be funded by imposing a new 5% surtax on income over $ 10 million a year and an additional 3% on income over $ 25 million, and instituting a new minimum corporate tax by 15%, in accordance with its plan to have no new taxes on those who earn less than $ 400,000 a year. A special billionaires tax was not included.
Revenue to help pay for the package would also come from the cancellation of some of the Trump administration’s tax cuts in 2017 and the increased prosecution of tax evaders by the IRS. Biden has pledged to cover the full cost of the plan, making sure it doesn’t pile up on the country’s debt load.
Just in case they can’t wrap up soon, Democrats have given themselves a new deadline – approving a Dec. 3 extension of routine transportation funds that risk expiring without the infrastructure bill.
“The current situation is about as bad as it can get,” said Jim Manley, a former senior Senate official.
The approval of the progressives was a step forward for Biden, he said. But with low confidence, he also said: “I’m afraid it will take a while.”
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