What's in, and what's out, as Biden offers scaled-back plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of talks with Democratic lawmakers, President Joe Biden outlined Thursday a $1.75 trillion framework to support families and education as well as protect against global warming.
The updated plan includes universal preschool, funding to limit child care costs and a one-year continuation of a child tax credit that was expanded earlier this year and applied to more families. But Democrats are scaling back some investments and shortening the timeframe for funding in order to whittle down spending.
The framework fits an approximately $1.75 trillion budget over 10 years, rather than the $3.5 trillion budget plan originally envisioned. Paid family leave and free community college have been jettisoned, while increased Medicare coverage has been scaled back.
Still, Democrats are hoping the programs will prove so popular that future Congresses will continue to fund them in the years ahead. It seems unlikely that any Republican will support the measure.
Negotiations are fluid and the package is very much in flux. It also won't be possible to fully assess the details until legislative text is released. But here's where the framework stands so far, according to the Biden administration:
— The child tax credit increase would continue for another year. As part of a COVID relief bill, Democrats increased the tax credit to $3,000 per child age 6-17 and $3,600 per child age 5 and under. Budget hawks worry that a one-year extension is a budgetary tool that will lower the cost of the program on paper, but mask its true costs since lawmakers tend to continue programs rather than let them expire.
— Medicare will be expanded to cover hearing aids but not dental and vision. Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona objected to the other...