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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE $3.5 TRILLION SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION
Senate Democrats united August 11 to pass a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that set a
framework for advancing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda through Congress. The
House is expected to approve the same budget resolution on August 23, which will then allow
the framework to become budget reconciliation legislation that provides funding for very
specific investments and taxes that will be raised on the rich and corporations to pay for much
of the agenda.
Budget reconciliation allows a measure to pass the Senate with just 51 votes, thereby avoiding
a filibuster. Senate and House committees have been charged with drafting their investment
and tax plans by Sept. 15 with votes on the budget reconciliation bills coming after that.
While the budget resolution that passed the Senate is a framework, the White House and the
Senate Budget Committee have provided analyses of what they anticipate will be in the budget
reconciliation package to be voted on this fall. The following are a summary and a more
detailed description of what is likely to be in budget reconciliation legislation.
SUMMARY OF THE BIDEN BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA & SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION
Up to $3.5 trillion in new investments will:
● Make health insurance, childcare, housing, and college more affordable.
● Expand access to affordable home- or community-based care for seniors.
● Expand Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing benefits.
● Lower prescription drug costs by letting Medicare negotiate drug prices.
● Make community college debt-free for those who qualify and increase the maximum Pell
Grant award by almost $1,500.
● Make preschool available to all 3- and 4-year-olds.
● Ensure that all workers have 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
● Make the expanded child tax credit for low- and middle-income families permanent.
● Greatly expand the use of clean energy through new standards and tax credits.
Much of the package will be paid for by:
● Raising taxes on corporations and those earning over $400,000 a year.
● Not raising taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.
DETAILS OF THE BIDEN BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA & SENATE BUDGET RESOLUTION
President Biden has called for taxing wealth like work and ensuring anyone making under
$400,000 a year won’t pay any more in taxes. The package Democrats are likely to propose will
close loopholes that allow millionaires, billionaires, and corporations to avoid paying their fair
share and roll back key provisions in the 2017 Trump-GOP tax cuts.
● It will increase the current 21% domestic corporate tax rate; raise the tax rate on offshore
profits to prevent outsourcing and close loopholes that encourage profit-shifting to tax
havens; and establish a 15% minimum corporate tax on very large firms.
● With respect to individuals, the legislation will raise the tax rate on the wealthiest
Americans; tax income generated by investments at the same rate as income generated by
wages for those making more than $1 million a year; and close a loophole that often allows
the wealthy to avoid paying taxes on investment gains for their entire lives.
● The plan will also fund stronger IRS enforcement of wealthy tax cheats.
IMPROVED MEDICARE & LOWER HEALTHCARE COSTS
● The package will expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and vision care.
● It will lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with the
● The plan will help 9 million people buy health insurance by extending recent improvements
made under the Affordable Care Act, saving an average of $50 per person a month.
● It will close the Medicaid coverage gap for low-income people in states where GOP
legislators have blocked expansion, helping 4 million gain coverage.
● The plan will expand home care for older and disabled Americans, while improving the jobs
and wages of the workers who support them―who are predominantly women and people
CHILDCARE, UNIVERSAL PRE-K, PAID FAMILY LEAVE, FIGHTING CHILDHOOD POVERTY
● The plan is expected to ensure that no working family pays more than 7% of their income
for childcare up to age 5; lower-income families won’t pay anything. Currently nearly 60% of
kids under six lack childcare where they live.
● The plan will partner with states to make sure universal pre-K is available for every 3- and 4-
year-old; right now, just 44% of kids who are four years old are served by public preschool.
● It will provide 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; about 80% of private sector
workers don’t have this benefit now.
● The plan will extend the recent improvements made to the Child Tax Credit beyond this
year: 39 million families will be eligible to receive $300 a month for each child under six and
$250 a month per child over six. This will benefit nearly 90% of children and cut child
poverty in half.
LOWER HIGHER EDUCATION COSTS & MORE JOB TRAINING
● The plan will provide two years of free community college, substantially boosting wages.
● The maximum Pell Grant is expected to increase by nearly $1,500, making four-year college
● Billions will be invested in HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and other minority-serving institutions.
● The plan will invest in training programs to help millions of workers prepare for jobs of the
● More than 10 million renters pay more than 50% of their income for rent. The plan will
create and preserve affordable housing by making historic investments in programs like the
Housing Trust Fund, HOME, the Capital Magnet Fund, and rural housing.
● It will improve housing affordability and equity by providing down payment assistance,
rental assistance, and other homeownership initiatives.
● The plan will make substantial public housing capital investments.
● The package will enact a nationwide energy efficiency and clean energy standard to shift
our energy consumption away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable energy.
● It will accomplish this through investments in electric vehicles, clean electrical generation,
greener buildings and sustainable agriculture.
● The plan also invests in a Civilian Climate Corps of hundreds of thousands of workers to
protect our natural resources and the climate.
Passing President Biden’s Build Back Better plan will provide an opportunity to make historic
investments in working families, jobs, the environment, affordable health care, education and
so much more. It will also help unrig our tax code and economy to ensure millionaires,
billionaires and corporations begin to pay their fair share.