Biden Releases Trimmed Down ‘Build Back Better’ Framework — What’s Been Cut and How Revisions Will Offset Cost

President Biden delivers remarks before departing for Europe, White House, Washington, Dc, United States - 28 Oct 2021
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times / Shutterstock.com

After months of negotiations with various segments of the Democratic party, and “hearing input from all sides and negotiating in good faith with Senators Manchin and Sinema, Congressional Leadership, and a broad swath of Members of Congress,” President Joe Biden announced a trimmed down $1.85 trillion framework for the “Build Back Better” Act today. He called on Congress to take up this bill — in addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — as quickly as possible, according to his remarks.

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“After months of tough and thoughtful negotiations, we have a framework that I believe can pass,” Biden tweeted.

The smaller bill — down from the original $3.5 trillion — has a framework, which includes $400 billion for childcare and pre-school; $150 billion for home care; $150 billion for Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit; $555 billion for clean energy and climate investments; $130 billion for ACA Credits; $35 billion in Medicare hearing; $150 billion in housing; $40 billion on higher education and workforce; $90 billion in equity and other investments, and $100 billion for immigrations, according to the framework’s fact sheet on the White House website.

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One major segment that is not included, however, is family paid leave, following Senator Joe Manchin raised objections to including guaranteed paid leave in the social safety net bill, NBC reported. Its removal deals a blow to Democrats who viewed the proposal as a key component of Biden’s legislative agenda.

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Following Biden’s statement on the framework, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said that “any one of the proposals contained in this framework — childcare, climate change investments, universal pre-K — would be a remarkable achievement, but together, they represent something truly historic: a new period of investment in economic growth for all Americans across the country,” according to a statement. “I am grateful to Members of Congress for negotiating in good faith to reach this moment and congratulate President Biden on this crucial step forward.”

To offset the costs, the plan will raise an estimated total of $1.995 trillion, according to the White House. “The plan is more than fully paid for by asking the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations to pay their fair share. It does not raise taxes on small business and anyone making less than $400,000 per year. It will also generate economic growth that will increase tax revenue and contribute to deficit reduction.”

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The $1.995 trillion funds would include: $325 billion from the 15% corporate minimum tax on large corporations; $125 billion from the stock buybacks tax; $350 billion from the corporate international reform “to stop rewarding companies that ship jobs and profits overseas”; $230 billion from the adjusted gross income (AGI) surcharge on the top 0.02%; $250 billion from closing the Medicare tax loophole for wealthy; $170 billion from limiting business losses for the wealthy; $400 billion from IRS investments to close the tax gap; and $145 billion from repealing the rebate rule for prescription drugs.

Former President Barack Obama tweeted following the announcement, saying that “in a country as large and diverse as ours, progress can often feel frustrating and slow, with small victories accompanied by frequent setbacks. But once in a while, it’s still possible to take a giant leap forward. That’s what the Build Back Better framework represents.”

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In a statement posted on Twitter, Obama said that while the Build Back Better framework doesn’t contain everything that the President proposed and that some had hoped, “that’s the nature of progress in a democracy. The good news is that it represents the best chance we’ve had in years to build on the progress we made during my administration and address some of the most urgent challenges of our time. I’m grateful to President Biden, Democrats in Congress, and everyone who has raised their voice and put their faith in government to do big things.”

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Last updated: October 28, 2021

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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