What’s in and what’s out of the Biden framework

President Biden is pitching a $1.75 trillion social spending and climate plan to Democrats that has been heavily slimmed down after concessions to moderate senators.

It’s still a huge bill, but it’s just half the size of the $3.5 trillion package envisioned in the Democrats’ budget resolution.

But here’s a look at what is in and out of the framework, which still must be turned into legislative text and is not a done deal.


Expansion of health care coverage

The bill would reduce premiums for over 9 million Americans by an average of $600 per person annually, a senior administration official said.

It expands coverage to the poor by offering four years of subsidized private health insurance on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges for people with lower incomes living in states that did not expand Medicaid under the health care law.

It does so by providing free premiums for 4 million people in the “coverage gap,” meaning they don’t earn enough to qualify for ACA subsidies but, since they live in a nonexpansion state, also make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

The proposal would also expand Medicare coverage to include hearing benefits for seniors.

$150 billion for affordable housing

The framework includes $150 billion in investments for affordable housing.

Earned income tax credit, child tax credit extended for one year

Democrats and the White House had hoped to make the child tax credit permanent, but instead the framework includes an extension through 2022. The program provides $300 per month per child under 6 and $250 per month per child ages 6 to 17.

The earned income tax credit targets roughly 17 million low-wage workers, providing up to $1,100 in aid.

HBCU and Pell Grant funding

The framework increases the maximum Pell Grant by $550 for more than 5 million students enrolled in public and private colleges and expands access for certain undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers.”

It also includes new funding for infrastructure and financial aid to low-income students in historically Black colleges and universities as well as tribal colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions.

$100 billion for immigration

The framework includes $100 billion to reduce immigration backlogs, to expand legal representation and improve the asylum and border processing system. But it would not overhaul the system or provide a path to citizenship for undocumented communities after a series of negative rulings by the Senate parliamentarian.

Democrats still need to get the parliamentarian to sign off on immigration language, with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Judiciary Committee chairman, telling reporters Thursday that they were getting information from the Congressional Budget Office and hoped to pitch it to the Senate referee this week. 

Clean energy tax credits

The framework provides $320 billion for clean energy tax credits to apply to transmission, storage, manufacturing, residential homes, passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. 

The framework overall includes $500 billion in climate provisions. That involves $105 billion for environmental resilience to address the impacts of extreme weather events and provide for a Civilian Climate Corps and $130 billion for renewable energy development and procurement for the federal government to be the primary buyer of next-generation renewable technologies.

Taxes on corporations, IRS enforcement

The framework says that the spending and tax cuts in the package will be fully financed, largely through tax increases focused on high-income households and corporations.

It would include a 15 percent minimum tax for corporations, a 1 percent surcharge on stock buybacks, and international tax changes that are in line with an agreement reached by more than 100 countries earlier this month. It would also include a surtax on the incomes of multimillionaires and billionaires and investments in IRS enforcement.

In total, the administration estimates that its proposed offsets could raise as much as about $2 trillion over 10 years. This includes both tax increases and the repeal of a rule related to prescription drugs.

Free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and child care

The framework includes $400 billion to provide free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, which the White House says includes 6 million children, as well as funds for affordable child care. 

The funding provided is enough for six years. It would limit child care costs for families to no more than 7 percent of their income for families earning up to 250 percent of state median income. To get the funding, parents must be working, seeking work, in training or have a serious health issue.


Drug pricing

The framework does not allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, leaving out a major Democratic priority.

A senior administration official told reporters there were not enough votes among Democrats to pass the policy.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) reached a deal with the White House on a prescription drug plan, but it is currently not in the framework amid progressive skepticism, a source confirmed to The Hill. 

Medicare for dental and vision 

In a blow to progressives, the framework doesn’t expand Medicare to cover dental or vision. 

Biden acknowledged last week that using the spending bill to expand Medicare to cover hearing, vision and dental was a “reach” given pushback from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sinema. 

But Democrats were working until Wednesday to try to figure out a way to get a voucher for dental into the bill, which was meant to be a temporary fix until the party could get the long-term benefit off the ground. A House bill had proposed phasing in the dental benefit in 2028.  

Billionaire tax

Democrats dropped a “billionaire tax” pitched by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that would have targeted unrealized capital gains. 

The idea was floated this week by the two progressive Democrats as the party scrambled to figure out a way to pay for the deal and lock in a framework before Biden’s trip. The proposal would have taxed people with $1 billion in assets or $100 million in income for three consecutive years. 

But it faced pushback from Manchin and other Democratic senators, including Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), were noncommittal as they waited to see the details. 

Paid family leave

Paid family leave, which was intended to provide funding for parental and medical leave, was not included in the framework in a blow to progressives.

The president had pushed for 12 weeks of paid family leave but said last week his goal had been trimmed to four weeks. It was fully stripped from the package as a concession made to Manchin, though advocates are expected to continue lobbying him. 

Clean Electricity Performance Program

The Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would provide financial incentives for electric utilities to transition away from fossil fuels, was also not included in the framework. 

It was seen as the best way to reduce U.S. emissions but was opposed by Manchin.

Democratic climate hawks in the Senate, like Wyden, have recently said there are alternate means to achieve the program’s aims even if it is dropped from the package.

Free community college

A progressive plan to include free community college was dropped out of the framework amid Democratic divisions. 

Democrats had hoped to provide two years of free community college with Biden saying in a CNN town hall last week that he faced opposition from Manchin and “one other person.”

Tags budget reconciliation Build Back Better Climate change Dick Durbin Elizabeth Warren Immigration Infrastructure Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Mark Warner Ron Wyden

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