Build Back Better Plan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Build Back Better Plan or Build Back Better agenda is a legislative framework proposed by U.S. President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration. It includes funding for COVID-19 relief, social services, welfare, and infrastructure, in addition to funds allocated towards reducing the effects of climate change.[1]

The plan was divided into three parts. The American Rescue Plan, a COVID-19 relief package, was signed into law in March 2021.[2] The other two parts were reworked into different bills over the course of extensive negotiations. The American Jobs Plan (AJP) was a proposal to fund infrastructure and reduce the effects of climate change,[3] while the American Families Plan (AFP) was a social policy proposal that included spending on welfare and social services.[4] Aspects of infrastructure spending in the AJP were incorporated into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law on November 15. Other portions of the AJP – such as funding related to climate change and home care – were included in the Build Back Better Act, which also incorporates parts of the AFP relating to welfare and social services.[5]

Background[edit]

The COVID-19 pandemic caused substantial job losses in the United States, with one estimate in May 2020 finding that the pandemic resulted in the greatest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression.[6]

During his presidency, Donald Trump floated using low interest rates to spend on infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and tunnels but specifically excluding the initiatives of the Democratic Party's Green New Deal.[7]

Vision[edit]

Shortly before the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, Biden laid out the following goals for his "Build Back Better" agenda:[8]

  1. "Build a Modern Infrastructure": The United States has consistently underinvested in the development of workers and millions of positions in rising industries, such as construction and healthcare, have not been fulfilled. President Biden's Build Back Better Plan would invest in training initiatives to help the millions of American workers to create high-quality employment in expanding fields through high-quality career and technical education paths and registered apprenticeships.[9]
  2. "Position the U.S. Auto Industry to Win the 21st Century with technology invented in America"
  3. "Achieve a Carbon Pollution-Free Power Sector by 2035"
  4. "Make Dramatic Investments in Energy Efficiency in Buildings, including Completing 4 Million Retrofits and Building 1.5 Million New Affordable Homes": Schools were faced with an estimated shortage of 100,000 teachers before the pandemic, which undermined the education of children.  President Biden's Build Back Better Plan will address the lack of teachers and enhance the education of teachers, including providing teacher residencies and by developing programs that provide greater results and generate more POC teachers. During the course of the school year, it would extend free school food to another 9.3 million students and assist families buy food in the summer. The plan includes investing in modernizing school infrastructure to ensure school buildings are up to date, energy efficient, robust, and have technology and laboratory equipment to educate children for the future.[9]
  5. "Pursue a Historic Investment in Clean Energy Innovation"
  6. "Advance Sustainable Agriculture and Conservation"
  7. "Secure Environmental Justice and Equitable Economy Opportunity"

American Rescue Plan[edit]

The first part of the plan resulted in a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. It was signed into law on March 11 using the procedure of reconciliation, allowing it to go into effect with unanimous Democratic support in the Senate and no Republican votes.[2][10][11]

American Jobs Plan[edit]

The second portion of the Build Back Better Plan was first pitched as the American Jobs Plan (AJP) and later spun off into the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, with some aspects carrying over to the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act.

Original proposal[edit]

President Biden speaks about the American Job Plan in Pittsburgh in March 2021

On March 31, 2021,[12] Biden unveiled details of his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan (which, when combined with the American Families Plan, amounted to $4 trillion in infrastructure spending),[13] pitched by him as "a transformative effort to overhaul the nation's economy".[14] The plan aimed to create millions of jobs, bolster labor unions, expand labor protections, and address climate change.[15][16]

Physical infrastructure[edit]

The plan called for $621 billion of spending on transportation infrastructure. This includes $115 billion towards highways and roads, $80 billion to improve American railways, $85 billion to modernize public transportation, $25 billion towards airports, $174 billion to incentivize adoption of electric vehicles (including $15 billion for the construction of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030), and $17 billion for inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry and ferries.[12] It also calls for electrifying at least 20 percent of the country's yellow school bus fleet.[12]

The plan called for $100 billion in funding for American energy infrastructure, aiming to transition the country to 100% carbon-free electricity production by 2035. It intends to establish a "Grid Deployment Authority" within the Department of Energy to support the construction of high-voltage transmission lines.[3]

Infrastructure 'at home'[edit]

The plan included $213 billion for building and retrofitting more than 2 million homes and $40 billion to improve public housing.[12] It would also seek to end exclusionary zoning.[16] The plan included $111 billion for modernizing drinking water, wastewater, and storm water systems. $45 billion of this is intended to replace 100% of the lead water piping in the country.[3] The plan aimed to deliver universal high-speed broadband coverage.[12]

The AJP proposed a $16 billion investment in plugging "orphan wells", abandoned wells that continually release methane emissions.[17] The plan contained $100 billion to construct and upgrade public schools, $25 billion to upgrade childcare facilities, and $12 billion to spend on community colleges.[12]

The AJP contained a proposal for a Civilian Climate Corps, modeled loosely after the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) created during the New Deal.[18][a] The plan proposes that $10 billion be allocated for the program, which the White House has stated would create somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 jobs.[17] In contrast, during its nine years in operation, around three million people participated in the original CCC.[22]

Research and development[edit]

The plan would spend $180 billion on research and development, including substantial expenditures in clean energy and basic climate research.[12] It would also spend $50 billion on semiconductor technology.[12] The plan set aside $300 billion for manufacturing expenditures.[3]

"Care economy"[edit]

The plan included $400 billion to expand access to home- or community-based care for seniors and people with disabilities.[12]

PRO Act[edit]

The passage of the proposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) was included as part of the proposal.[23] The legislation would bolster unions by overriding state right-to-work laws[24][25] and safeguarding union elections.[26]

Funding[edit]

The source of funding was planned to come from raising the corporate tax rate as a part of a proposed "Made in America Tax Plan".[3] This would partially reverse the 2017 tax reforms that occurred under the Trump administration. The corporate tax rate would rise from 21% to 28%, bringing it closer to the pre-reform tax rate of 35%. The tax plan would aim to raise over $2 trillion by 2036,[16] with other methods including ending subsidies for fossil fuel companies, increasing the global minimum tax from roughly 13 percent to 21 percent, and deficit spending.[12][27]

Also planned was an increase of the global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) from 10.5% to 21%.[28] GILTI taxes target intangible assets like patents, copyright, and trademarks that can sometimes be used by companies for tax avoidance.[29] This tax was created in 2017 to discourage U.S.-based companies from shifting profits to corporate tax havens.[29]

Bipartisan bill[edit]

On July 28, Senate negotiators announced that a $1.2 trillion agreement for physical infrastructure had been reached.[30] According to NPR.org, this is set to include:

  • "$110 billion for roads, bridges and other major projects;
  • $11 billion in transportation safety programs;
  • $39 billion in transit modernization and improved accessibility;
  • $66 billion in rail;
  • $7.5 billion to build a national network of electric vehicle chargers;
  • $73 billion in power infrastructure and clean energy transmission" and
  • $65 billion for broadband development.[30]

The bill would also make the Minority Business Development Agency a permanent agency.[31] The Senate voted to advance the bill by a count of 69–31 on August 10.[32][33] On November 5, the House of Representatives passed it 228–206.[34] Biden signed the legislation into law on November 15.[35]

Reception[edit]

The Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank, lauded the AJP for its focus on climate justice.[36] The program also received support from organized labor, with AFL–CIO president Richard Trumka praising the plan for its inclusion of the PRO Act.[37] Senator Bernie Sanders spoke favorably of the plan while adding that he believed the White House should go bolder in its proposals.[38]

Political conservatives dismissed the legislation as costly and challenged the description of policy areas traditionally not included in the realm of "infrastructure" being part of the plan.[39] Republican Senator Ted Cruz criticized the plan, arguing that it would lead to job losses and served as a "Green New Deal-lite masquerading as an infrastructure plan".[40] Republican House minority leader Kevin McCarthy called the plan "[m]ajor expansions of government agencies and even more inflation that will lead to higher costs for all Americans."[41]

American Families Plan[edit]

In April 2021, the Biden administration announced details of the American Families Plan (AFP).

On May 17, seven Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee signed a letter to the president asking him to prioritize enhanced unemployment insurance (UI) and direct payments (in the style of those included in response to COVID-19 and the related recession) in the AFP. The letter cited Biden's promise to include the former adjusted to "economic conditions", but further that the latter also "served as [a lifeline] to families and workers that have had their lives upended by the pandemic".[42] Previously, on March 31, 21 Senate Democrats sent Biden a letter in favor of further stimulus payments and UI, and in April the Economic Security Project reported that two additional direct payments could keep 12 million Americans out of poverty.[43]

Original proposal[edit]

"Care economy"[edit]

The third part of the original Build Back Better agenda, the American Families Plan, set aside $1 trillion in new spending and $800 billion in tax credits (both over ten years).[44] This included:

It would have extended the boost to the child tax credit made in the American Rescue Plan, which effectively turned the credit into a child allowance.[48][49] It would also revoke a federal restriction on people with felony drug convictions from obtaining food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).[50]

Funding[edit]

The bill was to have been at least partially funded by a number of tax hikes on high-income Americans and investors,[46] including restoring the top marginal income tax rate to its pre-2017 level of 39.6% and nearly doubling the capital gains tax for people earning more than $1 million, as well as eliminating a provision in the tax code that reduces capital gains on some inherited assets, like vacation homes.[44] It would also raise revenue by boosting the budget of the Internal Revenue Service by $80 billion (distributed over ten years), which the White House estimates could raise over $700 billion in revenue that otherwise would have been lost to tax evasion.[51][52] It would also require the banks to report total account outflows and inflows to the IRS to help detect tax evasion.[53]

Reconciliation bill[edit]

House speaker Nancy Pelosi speech of November 2021 summarising the final contents of the House bill

A reconciliation bill related to 'human infrastructure' is being prepared, which is expected to include measures related to climate change, family aid, and expansions to Medicare. Originally set to cost $3.5 trillion,[54] it failed to gain the support of moderate Democrats.[55] On October 28, the White House released a new $1.75 trillion framework.[56]

Reception[edit]

A Data for Progress poll conducted in late June 2021 for Invest in America found that 62% of likely voters support passing both the American Families Plan and AJP together using reconciliation. Among Democrats, 86% supported the use of reconciliation, as did 59% of Independents and 36% of Republicans.[57] By mid-July 2021, most provisions of the American Families Plan had been rolled into the $3.5 trillion 'human infrastructure' bill,[58] but that bill was later reduced to $1.75 trillion.[56]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes

  1. ^ On April 20, 2021, Democratic Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced new legislation for a Civilian Climate Corps, which aims to hire 1.5 million Americans over five years;[19][20] three months later, a version of this was promoted in a letter by 80 congresspeople for potential inclusion in the reconciliation bill.[21]

Citations

  1. ^ "The Build Back Better Framework". The White House. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Yarmuth, John A. (March 11, 2021). "H.R.1319 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): American Rescue Plan Act of 2021". Congress.gov. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e "FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan". The White House. March 31, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  4. ^ "Fact Sheet: The American Families Plan". The White House. April 28, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  5. ^ "Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Passes, What Happens Next". Investopedia. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Soucheray, Stephanie. "US job losses due to COVID-19 highest since Great Depression". CIDRAP. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  7. ^ Niquette, Mark (March 31, 2020). "Trump Urges $2 Trillion for Infrastructure to Bolster Economy". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on April 3, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "Biden Plan for Economic Recovery Includes Infrastructure". For Construction Pros. January 15, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "The Build Back Better Agenda". The White House. February 22, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  10. ^ Segers, Grace (March 12, 2021). "Biden signs $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law". CBS News. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  11. ^ Wasson, Erik (February 2, 2021). "Senate Democrats Move to Put Biden Stimulus Plan on Fast Track". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Siegel, Rachel (March 31, 2021). "What's in Biden's $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan?". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  13. ^ Everett, Burgess; Levine, Marianne (May 24, 2021). "'Time to move on': Infrastructure talks near collapse". Politico. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  14. ^ Stein, Jeff; Eilperin, Juliet; Laris, Michael; Romm, Tony (April 1, 2021). "White House unveils $2 trillion infrastructure and climate plan, setting up giant battle over size and cost of government". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Davidson, Kate; Omeokwe, Amara (April 3, 2021). "Biden's Infrastructure Package Is Designed to Boost Unions". The Wall Street Journal.
  16. ^ a b c Nilsen, Ella (March 31, 2021). "Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, explained". Vox.
  17. ^ a b Deiseroth, Danielle; Smith, Aidan. "Progressive Guide to the American Jobs Plan - Plugging 'Orphan Wells' and Cleaning Abandoned Mines" (PDF). Data for Progress. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  18. ^ "Biden's Civilian Climate Corps comes straight out of the New Deal". Grist. February 8, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  19. ^ "HR 2670 - Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act" (PDF). Congress.gov. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  20. ^ Markey, Ed (April 20, 2021). "Senator Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Introduce Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice to Rebuild America". Ed Markey Senator Website.
  21. ^ Frazin, Rachel (July 20, 2021). "Democrats lay out vision for Civilian Climate Corps". The Hill. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  22. ^ "A $9 billion plan could bring Biden's conservation corps to life". Grist. February 23, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  23. ^ Gotsch, Ted (April 21, 2021). "American Jobs Plan Will Grow the Middle Class". International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  24. ^ Gonyea, Don (March 9, 2021). "House Democrats Pass Bill That Would Protect Worker Organizing Efforts". NPR.
  25. ^ "Federal PRO Act Would Negate States' Right-to-Work Laws". WV MetroNews. May 18, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  26. ^ "The PRO Act's Potential Effect on Employers". JD Supra. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  27. ^ Davidson, Kate (April 1, 2021). "Biden Infrastructure Plan Aims to Boost Economy's Productivity Over Time". The Wall Street Journal.
  28. ^ "President Biden's Infrastructure Plan Raises Taxes on U.S. Production". Tax Foundation. March 31, 2021. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  29. ^ a b "What is global intangible low-taxed income and how is it taxed under the TCJA?". Tax Policy Center. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  30. ^ a b Walsh, Deirdre (July 28, 2021). "Bipartisan Senate Negotiators Say They Reach A Deal On Infrastructure After Hiccups". NPR.org. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  31. ^ Johnson, Marty (September 24, 2021). "US mayors, Black leaders push for passage of bipartisan infrastructure bill". The Hill. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  32. ^ Garrison, Joey; King, Ledyard (June 24, 2021). "'We have a deal': Biden reaches $1.2 trillion infrastructure compromise with bipartisan group of senators". USA Today. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  33. ^ Kapur, Sahil; Thorp V, Frank; Caldwell, Leigh Ann (July 19, 2021). "Schumer sets Wednesday vote to begin Senate debate on infrastructure deal". NBC News. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  34. ^ Pramuk, Jacob (November 5, 2021). "House passes $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes transport, broadband and utility funding, sends it to Biden". CNBC. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  35. ^ Pettypiece, Shannon (November 15, 2021). "Biden signs infrastructure bill marking victory in hard-fought legislative battle". NBC News. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  36. ^ Higgins, Trevor; Gout, Elise; Hardin, Sally (April 26, 2021). "How the American Jobs Plan Delivers Climate Action". Center for American Progress. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  37. ^ Alpert, Lynn (April 20, 2021). "Labor reacts to Biden's American Jobs Plan". The Labor Tribune. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  38. ^ Cole, Devan (April 4, 2021). "Biden calls his infrastructure plan bold. Bernie Sanders says more work must be done". CNN. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  39. ^ Brooks, Emily (April 7, 2021). "'Child care is infrastructure': Democrats mocked for expanded definition beyond roads and bridges". Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  40. ^ "Sen. Cruz: Biden's Infrastructure Plan and Tax Hike Puts American Jobs Last". www.cruz.senate.gov. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  41. ^ Limon, Alexandra (October 29, 2021). "Biden slashes trillions from Build Back Better plan". KOIN. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  42. ^ "Letter to President Biden Regarding Automatic Stabilizers" (PDF). U.S. Representative Jimmy Gomez. May 17, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  43. ^ Sheffey, Ayelet (April 22, 2021). "Sending 4th and 5th stimulus checks could keep 12 million Americans out of poverty, report finds". Business Insider. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  44. ^ a b c Tankersley, Jim; Goldstein, Dana (April 28, 2021). "Biden Details $1.8 Trillion Plan for Workers, Students and Families". The New York Times.
  45. ^ Lopez, German (April 23, 2021). "Biden's federal paid leave plan, explained in 600 words". Vox.
  46. ^ a b Stein, Jeff (April 24, 2021). "White House's new $1.8 trillion 'families plan' reflects ambitions — and limits — of Biden presidency". The Washington Post.
  47. ^ Schroeder, Robert (April 20, 2021). "Biden's 'American Families Plan' is coming. What's in it?". MarketWatch.
  48. ^ DeParle, Jason (March 7, 2021). "In the Stimulus Bill, a Policy Revolution in Aid for Children". The New York Times.
  49. ^ Pramuk, Jacob; Mui, Ylan (April 20, 2021). "Biden's recovery plan for families set to cost more than $1 trillion, extend enhanced child tax credit". CNBC.
  50. ^ Delaney, Arthur (April 28, 2021). "Biden's 'American Families Plan' Would Open Food Benefits To People Convicted Of Felonies". HuffPost.
  51. ^ Tankersley, Jim; Rappeport, Alan (April 27, 2021). "Biden Seeks $80 Billion to Beef Up I.R.S. Audits of High-Earners". The New York Times.
  52. ^ Stein, Jeff (April 27, 2021). "White House seeks to make massive boost to IRS enforcement centerpiece of new spending plan". The Washington Post.
  53. ^ "The American Families Plan Tax Compliance Agenda" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. May 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  54. ^ Emma, Caitlin; Scholtes, Jennifer (July 14, 2021). "Democrats unveil $3.5T go-it-alone plan to fulfill Biden's agenda". Politico. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  55. ^ Bolton, Alexander (October 5, 2021). "Manchin opens door to deal in range of $1.9T to $2.2T". The Hill. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  56. ^ a b "President Biden Announces the Build Back Better Framework". The White House. October 28, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  57. ^ Chalfant, Morgan (June 29, 2021). "Progressive poll: Majority supports passing Biden agenda through reconciliation". The Hill. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  58. ^ Wilkie, Christina (July 14, 2021). "Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget package funds family programs, clean energy and Medicare expansion". CNBC. Retrieved November 1, 2021.

External links[edit]