KEY POINTS

  • The American Families Plan will be partially funded by high-income Americans and investors
  • The $1.8 trillion spending package may extend the expanded child tax credit through 2025
  • White House officials are reviewing other proposals to include, such as a fourth round of stimulus payments

The White House is preparing to unveil President Joe Biden’s $1.8 trillion spending and tax plan ahead of his joint address to Congress on Wednesday. 

A fourth round of stimulus payments that would be included in the new spending plan is being discussed by White House officials.

The spending package, dubbed the American Families Plan, would increase the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6% from 37%, according to The New York Times. The plan effectively reverses former President Donald Trump's 2017 income tax cut for the highest income earners, and almost doubles taxes on capital gains to $39.6% for those earning over $1 million per year.

As for another round of stimulus checks, a group of 21 Senate Democrats — led by Ron Wyden of Oregon — in late March sent a letter addressed to the president asking him to provide recurring payments for low-income Americans. 

"Unemployment insurance has replaced lost income for millions who have lost their jobs. But millions of others do not qualify for unemployment insurance after seeing their hours reduced, switching to lower-paying jobs, or temporarily leaving the workforce to care for family members during the pandemic," the senators wrote.

“Direct payments are crucial for supporting struggling families who aren’t reached by unemployment insurance. An Urban Institute study suggests that a single direct payment of $1,200 combined with an extension of enhanced unemployment insurance and other assistance could keep 12 million people out of poverty, and adding a second direct payment could keep an additional 6.3 million people above the poverty line,” the letter continued. 

The new proposal also could include an extension of the expanded child tax credit through 2025, which would lift nearly 5 million children out of poverty, The Washington Post reported. 

Other possible measures being discussed would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and cancel up to $50,000 in debt per student.

The American Families Plan also includes funding to make two years of community college tuition free for adults and new high school graduates, free prekindergarten education for children ages 3 and 4, more affordable child care for working families, and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. 

A letter signed by 17 Democratic senators asked the president to include spending measures that would make Medicare accessible to more Americans by lowering the age eligibility, and expand health care benefits for hearing, dental and vision. 

“Medicare has been one of the most successful and popular federal programs in our nation's history since it was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Now, 55 years later, the time is long overdue for us to expand and improve this program so that millions of older Americans can receive the health care they need, including eyeglasses, hearing aids and dental care," the letter stated. 

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the second day fo a virtual climate summit at the White House US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the second day fo a virtual climate summit at the White House Photo: AFP / JIM WATSON