President Joe Biden’s advisers will present a proposal to spend as much as $3 trillion on a wide-ranging series of economic efforts, including a massive infrastructure plan, which could lead to higher taxes on corporations and the highest-income Americans.
The New York Times reports that Biden’s advisers are expected to unveil this proposal, which follows months of deliberations, to congressional leaders sometime this week. They’re likely to recommend that he split his economic agenda into several separate pieces of legislation rather than combine them into one comprehensive package, which would be harder to get through Congress.
One person familiar with the plans, who was not identified by name, said that they would likely cost about $3 trillion, though they noted that this figure doesn’t factor in the cost of extending temporary tax cuts that were intended to help the poor, potentially hundreds of billions of dollars.
"President Biden and his team are considering a range of potential options for how to invest in working families and reform our tax code so it rewards work, not wealth," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. "Those conversations are ongoing, so any speculation about future economic proposals is premature and not a reflection of the White House’s thinking."
Biden said in January that he planned to follow the COVID-19 relief bill with a "Build Back Better Recovery Plan," which he said, according to the Times, would "make historic investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy. Investments in the caregiving economy and in skills and training needed by our workers to compete and win the global economy of the future."
The first plan is focused on infrastructure and contains much of the plan that Biden put forth during the 2020 presidential election, while the second plan would focus on helping student workers and others who have struggled on the outskirts of the job market and would provide free community college and universal pre-K education, among other programs.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement on Monday that "help is on the way" thanks to the American Rescue Act, adding that the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package "will jolt our economy back to life, get money into the hands of struggling Americans, get our children back to school safely, get COVID-19 vaccinations out more swiftly, and get nutrition assistance to millions of food insecure Americans."
He said, "The American Rescue Plan provides historic debt relief to Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and other farmers of color who for generations have struggled to fully succeed due to systemic discrimination and a cycle of debt. We cannot ignore the pain and suffering that this pandemic has wrought in communities of color."
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