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Top House Democrat unveiling bill to invest in ‘human capital’

Greg Nash

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is expected to unveil a list of priorities on Tuesday aimed at investing in “human capital” by providing new benefits to working parents and families.

CNBC reports that Neal is expected to introduce a bill called the Building an Economy for Families Act that would establish universal paid family leave for up to 12 weeks and around two-thirds of a worker’s wage. It would also establish a new refundable payroll tax credit for some child care workers and create a child care information network to provide real-time information to parents and guardians.

The bill, if passed, would permanently expand on tax credits that were introduced in the American Rescue Plan, CNBC noted, adding that many House Democrats have expressed support for the tax credits.

“We wanted to develop a design and then we will address the issue of revenue,” Neal told the network when asked how he would pay for the provisions in the bill. “But treat this as an economic investment. This is about increasing productivity. This is about increasing stability in our homes.”

However, CNBC notes that President Biden has expressed doubt that such a measure would pass in a split Senate. It added that Biden will try to persuade lawmakers to extend the expanded child tax credit through 2025, but not make it permanent, as Neal’s legislation would.

Earlier in April, Neal called for an expansion in child care as a way to remove “hidden barriers to workforce participation.”

“It is up to us to reimagine it in a way that puts workers and their families first, that makes it more equitable, and ultimately, sets Americans up for the better days that lie ahead. I look forward to pulling many of the levers within the Ways and Means jurisdiction to make this happen,” Neal wrote in a letter first obtained by Punchbowl News.

Tags Child tax credit Joe Biden Richard Neal Richard Neal United States House Committee on Ways and Means

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