WASHINGTON – The House on Friday passed a sprawling social, climate and fiscal policy of around $ 2 trillion that is the central pillar of President Biden’s national agenda.
The product of months of intense negotiations, the package would strengthen the federal safety net, improve support for children and families with subsidies for child care and universal preschool, expand health coverage, increase aid to children and families. housing and would invest heavily in the fight against climate change.
The measure is likely to change as it moves through the equally divided Senate, where Republicans are unanimously opposed and Democrats cannot afford to lose even one vote of their own. left.
Here is where it is located at the exit of the house.
New support for children and families.
The bill would provide nearly $ 400 billion to help states implement universal six-year preschool and affordable child care programs.
This includes estimated funding of $ 100 billion for child care expansion and subsidies in the first three years, and similar spending levels for the duration of the program. The proposal aims to ensure that the vast majority of families – those with four-person households earning up to $ 300,000 – spend no more than 7% of their income on child care. Families earning less than 75 percent of the state’s median income would pay nothing.
The federal government would provide at least $ 18 billion, and unspecified spending levels for the duration of the program, to fund state programs that provide preschool programs to all 3 and 4 year olds. For the first three years, it would cover 100% of a state’s universal preschool expenses, and in subsequent years, it would pay a percentage – 90% in the fourth year, 75% in the fifth year, and 60% in the sixth year – in conjunction with States. . Preschool spending also sets aside $ 2.5 billion a year to boost the salaries of Head Start program staff.
The legislation would extend by one year the extension of the child tax credit included in the $ 1.9 trillion pandemic assistance law enacted earlier this year. This provides monthly payments to around 35 million families, or $ 300 per child under 6 and $ 250 per child between 6 and 17.
The bill would also create a new federal program covering four weeks of paid family and medical leave, but that provision is expected to be removed in the Senate, where it faces opposition from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III, a decisive vote for Democrats. .
– Erica L. Green
A major investment in programs to fight against climate change.
The $ 555 billion for climate change programs is the biggest spending item on the larger bill and would easily make it the biggest climate change bill in U.S. history.
On its own, the bill alone will not be enough to deliver on Mr. Biden’s pledge to halve US emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. But it would allow the country to reach about a third to half of this target, according to an analysis by the Rhodium Group, an independent research organization.
Once enacted, the bill could reduce U.S. greenhouse gas pollution by about one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, according to Rhodium’s analysis – roughly l ‘equivalent of taking all cars in the United States off the road for one year.
The centerpiece of the new climate spending is around $ 320 billion in tax incentives for producers and buyers of wind, solar and nuclear energy, incentives intended to accelerate the transition to oil, gas and coal. . Buyers of electric vehicles would benefit as well, receiving up to $ 12,500 in tax credits – depending on what portion of the vehicle parts are made in America and whether they were built by unionized workers.
There would be $ 1 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations, $ 2.9 billion to make the electricity grid more conducive to the transmission of wind and solar power, and $ 12.5 billion in rebates for homeowners who install more energy efficient appliances. And the bill would provide $ 55 billion to promote climate-friendly agriculture, forestry and research programs, $ 29 billion for a “green bank” program to help communities finance renewable energy projects, and 10 billion dollars to help rural power cooperatives cover the cost of switching from coal. renewable energy plants.
The House measure also includes a new levy on major oil and gas companies for leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. But this provision could also be weakened or removed given the opposition of Mr. Manchin, whose state is one of the largest producers of natural gas in the country.
– Davenport Coral
An expansion of health coverage.
The legislation would fill many loopholes in the affordable care law, bringing the nation closer to Democrats’ goal of universal health coverage. The bill would extend generous grants that have reduced the cost of premiums for Americans who buy their own insurance. It would permanently expand a program that insures millions of children from low-income families and guarantee one year of Medicaid coverage to eligible women the year after the birth of their child.
In a provision aimed at vulnerable people without health coverage, it would provide full health coverage to poor adults who live in 12 states that have refused to expand their Medicaid programs, giving them subsidized access to private Obamacare plans. Many of these changes would expire after 2025, but millions more Americans would benefit from health coverage over the next few years.
Older Americans would benefit from a number of new benefits. Medicare would begin covering hearing aids and audiology services in 2023. Medicare drug coverage would become stronger, reducing the total amount a patient would be asked to pay to 2,000 $ per year. And patients who need long-term care services would see new funding to allow them to receive that care at home, instead of a nursing home.
Funding for home care is lower than the president’s original plan, however, and lawmakers have scrapped popular provisions that would have also added Medicare coverage for eyeglasses and dental care.
For the first time, the government would have the power to regulate the prices of certain prescription drugs. Medicare would be allowed to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers on a subset of expensive drugs in the coming years. And drug makers would be prevented from raising the prices of their drugs more than the rate of inflation. The drug pricing provisions are less aggressive than an initial House proposal, but are still expected to have substantial effects over time.
– Margot Sanger Katz
Address immigration issues.
The legislation would expand the power of the Homeland Security Secretary to grant a temporary status known as parole to undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for a decade, providing them with work permits and protecting them from deportation. . Work permits would last for five years and then have to be renewed.
The proposal would include most of the undocumented immigrants who have lived continuously in the United States since before January 1, 2011 and could help between 7 and 8 million people. But significantly, the proposal does not create a new path to citizenship after such plans are disqualified under Senate rules.
The current bill essentially codifies an improved version of the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, introduced by President Barack Obama in 2012.
Mr Biden’s plan would also attempt to address the legal green card backlog, releasing hundreds of thousands of visas dating back to 1992 that various administrations have not used, and making them available to immigrants who are currently caught in a bureaucratic quagmire.
The plan also includes $ 2.8 billion for U.S. citizenship and immigration services to more effectively assess and process migrants’ documents.
– Luke broadwater
Invest in affordable housing.
The measure includes the largest investment in affordable housing in history, according to the Biden administration. It would provide $ 166 billion in housing assistance, which includes building or preserving more than a million affordable homes and offering rent and down payment assistance.
About $ 65 billion would cover the backlog of public housing repairs and $ 25 billion would go into rent assistance, mostly in the form of housing vouchers. The plan would also invest $ 15 billion in the creation of new rental housing for the poorest households.
The proposal would also create a $ 10 billion grant program that would support access to affordable housing and improve mobility for low-income users and residents of disadvantaged communities. The funds would be used to create new transit routes, expand service and repair facilities.
– Madeleine Ngo
Tax businesses and the rich.
The bill raises the cap on the amount that residents, especially in high-tax states like New York, California and New Jersey, can deduct from local and state taxes. Removing the said SALT cap, which is currently set to expire after 2025, has been a key priority for lawmakers in those states since it was imposed under the Republican tax law of 2017.
The cap would drop from its current limit of $ 10,000 to $ 80,000 and would be extended until 2030 before lowering it to $ 10,000 in 2031. The cap would then expire definitively in 2032. But it is subject to change in Senate, where two key players, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, discuss a separate agreement to remove the cap for families reaching at least $ 550,000 and impose it permanently on income homeowners raised.
The House bill also imposes new taxes on the wealthy and businesses.
Taxpayers with adjusted gross income of more than $ 10 million would face an additional 5% tax on top of the 37% marginal tax rate they already pay. Those earning more than $ 25 million would face an additional 3% surtax.
Profitable companies with more than $ 1 billion in so-called book income – profits that companies report to their shareholders but not to the IRS – that pay little or no corporate tax would now be subject to a minimum tax of 15%.
Large multinational companies would see the tax rate on their foreign income drop from 10.5% to 15%.
– Alan Report