Story at a glance

  • President Biden is expected to unveil before a joint session of Congress Wednesday a $1.8 trillion plan that would include free pre-K and community college education.
  • Biden will outline his American Families Plan in a primetime address, which comes just before his 100th day in office.
  • White House officials told WSJ that Biden’s plan aims to improve educational outcomes and address child care, among other issues exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

President Biden is expected to unveil before a joint session of Congress Wednesday a $1.8 trillion plan that would include free pre-K and community college education. 

Biden will outline his American Families Plan in a primetime address, which comes just before his 100th day in office, The Wall Street Journal reported. The plan would be largely funded by means of a tax increase on the wealthiest American, according to the Journal. 

The White House told the Journal the plan includes $1 trillion in new spending over 10 years and $800 billion in tax cuts primarily made up of extensions or breaks laid out in the COVID-19 relief law. 


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White House officials told WSJ that Biden’s plan aims to improve educational outcomes and address child care, among other issues exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The president will call for universal pre-K schooling for 3- and 4-year-olds and two years of free community college tuition for all Americans, including Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. as children. Officials told the WSJ that the initiatives would be available to all Americans regardless of income. 

Biden is proposing $109 billion for two years of free community college, CNN reported. Federal funding would cover nearly 75 percent of the average tuition cost in each state once the plan has been fully implemented, according to the outlet. The states would cover the remainder. 

Additionally, Biden’s plan would provide funding to lower income families to make child care more affordable and stimulate funding to child care providers, the Journal reported. The plan also aims to establish a paid-leave program.

“This past year has really underscored the importance of paid leave for families for economic security,” Heather Boushey, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers told WSJ. 

“You’ve seen what’s happened to people that don’t have access to leave, what that does for their job security and their families, both health and financial security,” Boushey said. 

To fund the new programs, the administration will propose a 2.6 percent hike on the top-income tax rate, which would move it to 39.6 percent. Households making more than $1 million could see rising rates on capital gains and dividends, WSJ reported. 

First lady Jill Biden stepped up previous efforts targeting free community college last week, saying the president was ready to take on the challenge. Prior efforts failed to take hold in Congress. 

"Community colleges meet students where they are," Biden said. "We can't afford to exclude so many from continuing their education just because they come from certain areas or income brackets."


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Published on Apr 28, 2021