Biden and Democrats will announce progress on their social policy and a framework for the climate bill, but key details remain unresolved.
President Biden will go to the Capitol on Thursday to announce progress on a “framework” agreement for a social safety net and climate change bill that would most likely provide for child care and early childhood education while shifting the economy from fossil fuels. Chances are.
Details on the exact size of the package were still unclear, but people familiar with the president’s plan said he would use the 9 a.m. meeting of the House Democratic caucus to try to convince Liberal members that a final deal would help them. That was enough to allow him to give support. A separate, $1 trillion infrastructure bill that has already passed the Senate.
The emerging deal that he and top Democrats hoped to outline is likely to leave some important issues unresolved, including how to pay for it. And the components agreed upon were significantly more modest than the cradle-to-serious extension of the safety net initially envisioned for a bill that would have been at least twice as large.
But the requisite provisions for young children will give a significant boost to middle-class families that have been grappling with economic uncertainty for decades. And about $500 billion is expected to include programs to move Americans to electric vehicles and woo utilities away from natural gas and coal, which will be the largest federal investment ever in combating climate change.
Democratic leaders were keen to give the president victory before leaving for Europe this week. The president plans to attend a climate summit in Scotland on Sunday, where he pointed to the agreement as proof of the United States’ commitment to tackling climate change.
He also hoped that the agreement would be enough to convince the most liberal members of the House that Congress was indeed on the verge of passing a progressive package—and that the liberals, in turn, swung into the more liberal and conservative Democrats—a $1 trillion bipartisan. infrastructure will be involved. Bill to give Mr Biden his signature and a much-needed boost for his party.
The extremely close gubernatorial race in Virginia was another motivating factor, according to two members of the House. The Democratic nominee, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, would like to spend the final days of the campaign showing the state where new projects will be built.
Liberal members of the House and Senate will have much to lament. The centerpiece of Mr Biden’s climate change policy – a measure to reward utilities for switching to renewable energy and punish those who do not – was removed at the urging of Democratic centrist Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia. The basic package is also expected to go into one of the largest social policies, $500 billion in federally paid family and medical leave benefits.
The promise of two years of free community college won’t be fulfilled, and the expanded child tax credit, passed in March to give $300-per-child income support to most families, is only expected to expand in 2023, not permanent.
Other measures remain unresolved, including expanding Medicare benefits to cover hearing, vision and dental care and expanding health insurance in 12 states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
But California Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said repeatedly that the final social policy measure will be “for the children,” and she will likely be able to claim that she fulfilled that pledge. Under the expected agreement, most families would receive six years of support with child care costs, ensuring that only a small percentage of their total income is devoted to nursery care.
Universal preschool benefits will last even longer, effectively extending public school until age 3. For older Americans, the framework is expected to include many years of community and home health care.
This includes substantial amounts for rental assistance, home purchase assistance, public housing repairs and other affordable housing programs.
“We have the largest investment in housing since the New Deal,” said Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal, who heads the House Progressive Caucus. “There’s a lot of good stuff in this bill, but we have to finish it, and we have to vote for it too.”
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