Government affairs

Legislative Updates

White House Releases the American Families Plan

Today, the White House released the American Families Plan, a $1 trillion plan that seeks to increase access to education, provide paid family and medical leave, make health care and childcare more affordable and more. The American Families Plan is the second major part of President Biden’s economic recovery plan, following the American Jobs Plan released last month.

As it relates to letter carriers, the plan calls for a new national program providing paid family and medical leave for all workers. By year 10 of the program, the $225 billion investment would guarantee workers 12 weeks of paid leave with payments of up to $4,000 a month for leave required to care for a child, an ill family member, personal illness and other such circumstances.

Overall, the plan expands the scope of universal public education in the U.S. by proposing $200 billion for free preschool and $109 billion for two years of tuition-free community college. It would also invest $85 billion in Pell grants. The plan includes investment in childcare ensuring that low and middle-class families would pay no more than 7 percent of their income on childcare. Additionally, the proposal includes $45 billion for nutrition programs including free and reduced-price meals for children across the country.

The plan makes permanent elements of the short-term American Rescue Plan passed in March, including the child tax credit, the dependent tax credit, and the earned income tax credit. It also proposes lowering health care premiums for those covered by Obamacare exchanges.

The White House proposes funding the American Families plan with tax increases for high-income Americans that would raise $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. The plan would restore the top income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent, reversing a portion of the 2017 tax cuts implemented by the previous administration. The tax increases would not affect anyone earning less than $400,000 per year. The plan also proposes full funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to improve tax enforcement and auditing on the wealthiest Americans, which the White House projects would raise $700 billion over the next decade.

The American Families Plan is an ambitious proposal, and it is up to the House and Senate to craft legislation that reflects the administration’s initiatives. Partisan tensions remain high in Congress and White House officials have reiterated that President Biden is open to discussing ideas on how to fund and invest in programs in the plan.

“NALC appreciates President Biden’s efforts to strengthen America’s social safety net, which has been seriously weakened by state-level cuts over the past several decades,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando. “We look forward to working with both parties in Congress on legislation inspired by his plan that would improve the lives of our nation’s workers and their families.”

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