How Biden’s Proposed American Families Plan Might Affect You

Article Highlights:

President Biden presented his proposed American Families Plan (AFP) during his Joint Session of Congress address on April 29, 2021. What follows is an overview of what is included in the plan. But this is only his wish list; Congress will need to draft proposed legislation that will have to pass in both the House of Representatives and the Senate before becoming law. With a price tag of more than $1.8 trillion, many on both sides of the political aisle think the plan is too expensive. As with virtually all legislation, the provisions will be debated, altered, and deleted during Congressional negotiations. The final bill, if passed, may be quite different than the originally proposed version.


Education Benefits — The AFP primarily incorporates education benefits that, if passed, would add four years of free public education and provide federal funds to certain higher education institutions. More specifically, it would address:

  • Pre-Kindergarten Education — Provide free universal preschool to all three- and four-year-olds.
  • Community College Education — Provide two years of tuition-free community college education, including for DREAMers.
  • Pell Grants — Increase Pell Grants by approximately $1,400 to assist low-income families and DREAMers.
  • College Retention and Completion Rates — Include a $62 billion grant program to invest in completion and retention activities at colleges and universities (particularly community colleges) that serve high numbers of low-income students. States, territories, and tribes will receive grants to provide funding to colleges that adopt innovative, proven solutions for student success.
  • Subsidized Tuition — For families earning less than $125,000, provide two years of subsidized tuition at historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions. The plan would expand and create additional grants for these schools to strengthen their academic, administrative, and fiscal capabilities, including by creating or expanding educational programs in high-demand fields such as STEM, computer sciences, nursing, and related health care.

Education, Teachers, and Educators — The AFP includes several provisions to increase college retention and completion rates, address teacher shortages, improve teacher preparation and strengthen pipelines for teachers of color. It would double scholarships for future teachers from $4,000 to $8,000 per year while they are earning their degree and would also help current teachers earn in-demand credentials.

Child Tax Credit — The President is proposing that the Child Tax Credit increases included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) be made permanent. The ARPA increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child six years old and above and $3,600 per child under six years old. It also made 17-year-olds eligible children for the credit and made the credit fully refundable and payable periodically during the year. These changes were for 2021 only. The AFP proposal would extend the ARPA increases through 2025 and make the refundability permanent.

Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit — The ARPA, for 2021 only, made this credit fully refundable and provided a credit equal to 50% of the expenses before phaseout. The maximum amount of expenses that can be used to compute the credit was increased to $8,000 for one qualified individual and $16,000 for two or more qualified individuals. As under prior law, a dependent child qualifies if they are under the age 13. The maximum credit is $4,000 (50% of $8,000) for one eligible individual and $8,000 (50% of $16,000) for two or more eligible individuals. The AFP would make these changes permanent.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for Childless Workers — The ARPA essentially tripled the EITC for childless workers for 2021 only. The one-year change increased the maximum credit from $543 to $1,502. Biden is asking Congress to make this increase permanent.

Paid Family Leave — The AFP would create a program that would ensure workers receive partial wage replacement to take time to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, deal with a loved one’s military deployment, find safety from sexual assault, stalking or domestic violence, heal from a serious illness of their own or take time to deal with the death of a loved one. It would guarantee twelve weeks of paid parental, family and personal illness/safe leave by year 10 of the program and also ensure that workers get three days of bereavement leave per year starting in year one. The program would provide workers up to $4,000 a month, with a minimum of two-thirds of average weekly wages being replaced, rising to 80 percent of average weekly wages for the lowest-wage workers.

Health Insurance — The AFP would extend the expanded ACA health insurance premium tax credits included in the ARPA that lowered health insurance costs by an average of $50 per person per month for nine million people, and it would enable four million uninsured people to gain coverage. In addition to other provisions, individuals would be able to enroll in Medicare at age 60.

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Dennis T Harabin CPA

Dennis T Harabin CPA

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