A student works on her name tag in a combined second and third grade class during the first day of school at Laguna Niguel Elementary School in Laguna Niguel, Calif. On Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
Paul Bersebach | MediaNews Group | Getty Images
Families with children can look forward to more relief in the years to come, thanks to the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion budget plan.
House Democrats passed the budget resolution on Tuesday, meaning the party can start drafting the details of the plan. They hope to get it through reconciliation, a process that would allow them to pass the budget without any Republican votes.
The plan that lawmakers are starting with would invest billions of dollars to strengthen families’ social safety net through programs and services such as an expanded child tax credit, child care benefits for parents who work, free kindergarten and more.
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Investments in working families, seniors and the environment would total around $ 1.8 trillion, according to an initial backgrounder on the proposal.
“I have always had confidence; I never doubted that the President’s budget would win because of our caucus’ commitment to American working families,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., At a press conference Wednesday.
Here’s what’s in the plan for children and their families.
Tax breaks and more
The plan would likely maintain several tax credits that benefit low- and middle-income families, and especially those with children.
It would extend the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, the tax credit for childcare and dependents, as well as paid family and medical leave, according to a fact sheet. information describing the budget resolution.
The US bailout in March improved the child tax credit, increasing the benefit to $ 3,000 from $ 2,000 for children 17 and under and giving an additional $ 600 for children under 6 years. Half of the credit began to flow to families in July in monthly form. Payments.
This credit alone will help some 65 million children in the United States, or about 90% of the nation’s children, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It will also lift some 4.1 million children out of poverty, reducing the overall poverty rate by about 40%. Maintaining the credit – which so far is only for tax year 2021 – will mean these benefits will continue.
Children and their families would also potentially be helped by the planned investments in childcare and education built into the proposal. Senate Democrats would like to extend universal preschool to 3- and 4-year-olds and expand child care benefits for working families.
The plan would also make community colleges free, donate money to institutions serving minorities, and increase the maximum amount of the Pell Grant to help people attend and pay for higher education. Infant nutrition programs would also benefit from a boost.