President Joe Biden has unveiled the American Families Plan, which addresses four of the biggest challenges facing American families today.
The plan envisages access to good education; access to quality, affordable child care; providing up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; and paying money directly to millions of American families.
Biden announced the initiative in his first address to a Joint Session of Congress on the eve of him completing 100 days in office.
“Now I can report to the nation: America is on the move again. Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength,” he told the lawmakers gathered in the House chamber.
The American Families Plan calls for an additional four years of free public education for children. It will also provide universal preschool to all three- and four- year-olds and provide all Americans two years of free community college. The plan will also invest in making college more affordable for low- and middle-income students.
Biden promised to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by approximately $1,400 and invest in Historical Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, and Minority-Serving Institutions. The plan also allows DREAMers to access Pell Grants.
He is calling for a new $39 billion program that provides two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a four-year HBCU, TCU, or MSI.
The President has proposed legislation to guarantee that low- and middle-income families will pay no more than 7 percent of their income on childcare for children up to the age of 5.
A national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave and medical leave.
The American Families Plan will extend key tax cuts in the American Rescue Plan that benefit lower- and middle-income workers and families. The plan will provide a tax credit for every child in a family – Up to a $3,000 for children under six years, and $3,600 for children over six years.
The President is proposing a $62 billion grant program to invest in completion and retention activities at colleges and universities that serve high numbers of low-income students, particularly community colleges.
President Biden is also calling on Congress to invest $9 billion in American teachers, addressing shortages, improving training and supports for teachers, and boosting teacher diversity.
In all, the American Families Plan requires $1.8 trillion in investments and tax credits for American families and children over ten years. Biden said the government will fund the plan by taxing the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans — those making $400,000 or more annually.
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