President Joe Biden visited Congress Thursday to unveil a new, scaled-back spending package, valued at about $1.75 trillion, that he hopes will win support from the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party.
The plan maintains investments in climate and early childhood education that were planned in the initial $3.5 trillion bill, but leaves out a guarantee of national paid family and maternity leave, and chills expectations for a regularization plan for undocumented immigrants.
“Everyone’s on board,” Biden assured reporters as he arrived at Congress this morning to meet with Democrats, in an attempt to reach an agreement with them before leaving in a few hours to travel to Rome to participate in the G20 summit.
However, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin told reporters that there is a lot of “uncertainty” about whether the new plan will succeed in uniting party factions, and it remains to be seen whether the progressive wing will accept a bill that cuts spending in half.
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The package, announced Thursday by the White House, maintains a $555 billion climate investment.
Another $400 billion will go to free education for children ages 3 to 4, the two years before they enter elementary school; and $200 billion more will extend tax credits for lower-income Americans who have children for another year.
It also includes investments in health insurance and affordable housing, but leaves out a key pillar of what had been Biden’s agenda, the guarantee of paid parental leave.
The White House plan leaves the door open to adding another $100 billion that would go to immigration, but all indications are that it would go to visa spendings and not to the regularization of millions of undocumented immigrants, as Democrats initially wanted.
The financing of Biden’s spending plan is based on the imposition of a 15 % tax on large companies.
It also increases taxes by 5 % for people with incomes over 10 million dollars; and an additional 3 % for those over 25 million dollars.
It also penalizes share repurchases for large companies by 1 %.
Finally, the proposal to tax multimillionaires, who earn more than $100 million a year or whose assets are valued at more than $1 billion, is left out.