Tax-writing chairman releases ‘discussion draft’ aimed at boosting aid to families

April 27, 2021

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) on Tuesday released a plan to provide universal paid family/medical leave and make permanent the expanded child-related tax credits from the recently enacted “American Rescue Plan.”

The chairman's plan, dubbed the “Building an Economy for Families Act,” was released as a discussion draft, which allows lawmakers to comment on the proposal before Neal introduces it as legislation.

Neal’s plan could become the legislative base for what President Joe Biden is expected to propose Wednesday night in his speech to a joint session of Congress.

The President tomorrow is expected to unveil his $1.5 trillion “American Family Plan” that will propose paid family and medical leave as well as extend the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which were expanded in the “American Rescue Plan.” The proposal is also expected to make attending community colleges tuition-free and provide universal pre-kindergarten childcare.  

Biden is expected to pay for his plan by increasing taxes on wealthier taxpayers and investors. His proposal is expected to increase taxes on capital gains for individuals earning more than $1 million, upping the 37% income tax bracket to 39.6%, and possibly repealing the step-up in basis when assets are transferred upon death.

Neal’s plan does not provide “payfors” and includes the follow proposals:  

  • Universal paid family and medical leave for all U.S. workers;
  • Increases funds for the Child Care Entitlement to States program and indexes the funds to grow with inflation and child population;
  • Establishes a Child Care Information Network for parents and caregivers to access frequently updated information about available childcare slots that meet their needs in their communities;
  • A new refundable payroll tax credit for childcare providers to raise wages of essential childcare workers;
  • Permanently extend the American Rescue Plan’s expansions of the Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit;
  • Creates a new Worker Information Network to assist workers in accessing paid leave, unemployment insurance benefits, and childcare;
  • Invests $15 billion in the physical infrastructure of childcare facilities.

The text of Neal’s proposal can be found here and here.

A section-by-section summary of the proposal can be found here.

A “one pager” on the proposal can be found here.

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