October 28, 2021
President Biden releases new framework on $1.75 trillion package
On Thursday (Oct. 28), President Joe Biden announced a new framework outlining the Democrats' $1.75 trillion social spending package. The package includes funding for expanded health coverage, affordable housing, universal pre-kindergarten and child care, clean energy and climate investments, along with other items. "After hearing input from all sides and negotiating in good faith with Senators Manchin and Sinema, Congressional Leadership, and a broad swath of Members of Congress, President Biden is announcing a framework for the Build Back Better Act," stated a White House press release. "President Biden is confident this is a framework that can pass both houses of Congress, and he looks forward to signing it into law. He calls on Congress to take up this historic bill — in addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — as quickly as possible."
The package is "fully paid for and will reduce the deficit" through various tax provisions, including a 15% minimum tax on corporate profits; a 15% global minimum tax; a surtax on the income of the wealthiest .02% of Americans; and an overhaul of tax administration. It also repeals a Trump-era drug rebate rule, which would have increased seniors' drug premiums.
As reported in recent days, the framework does not include paid family and medical leave due to opposition from centrist members, nor does it include free community college, a program aimed at pushing utilities to generate more clean energy, nor a series of top marginal tax rate increases. While it includes expanded Medicare hearing benefits, it does not include benefits for vision or dental. It also does not include drug pricing provisions aimed at bringing down the cost of prescription drugs through Medicare negotiation or inflationary rebate provisions. The package also left out a recently proposed tax on billionaires' unrealized gains, due to concerns raised by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and other Democrats.
The House Rules committee, which sets the rules for bringing legislation to the House floor, is planning to meet today. The White House has been pushing Democrats to come to consensus around the slimmed down package by the end of the week, as President Biden leaves later on Thursday for Rome. A deal could also bolster passage of the Senate-passed, bipartisan infrastructure package that has been held up by House progressives, who want to see the two bills passed in tandem, or at least have a commitment on text. The House is facing a self-imposed deadline for passage of the bipartisan package along with the expiration of highway authorization on October 31, although Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) said he drafted an extension if it is necessary (a longer-term, five-year reauthorization is included in the bipartisan legislation).
Summary of Spending Provisions
Child Care and Preschool
Child Tax & Earned Income Tax Credits
Clean Energy and Climate Investments
ACA Credits, Including in Uncovered States
Higher Ed and Workforce
Equity & Other Investments
Summary of Revenue Provisions
15% Corporate Minimum Tax on Large Corporations
Stock Buybacks Tax
Corporate International Reform to Stop Rewarding Companies That Ship Jobs and Profits Overseas
AGI Surcharge on the Top 0.02%
Close Medicare Tax Loophole for Wealthy
Limit Business Losses for the Wealthy
IRS Investments to Close the Tax Gap
Prescription Drugs: Repeal Rebate Rule