Biden to propose huge social benefits deal in first Congress speech

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Feb 23, 2021 - Washington, District of Colombia, USA - President Joe Biden walks along the Colonnade of the White House Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to the Oval Office. (Credit Image: Adam Schultz/White House/ZUMA Wire/ZUMAPRESS.com Photo: White House/ZUMA Wire/dpa
Feb 23, 2021 - Washington, District of Colombia, USA - President Joe Biden walks along the Colonnade of the White House Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to the Oval Office. (Credit Image: Adam Schultz/White House/ZUMA Wire/ZUMAPRESS.com Photo: White House/ZUMA Wire/dpa

US President Joe Biden is set to propose a massive social benefits package during his first ever address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, aimed at supporting families and increasing funding for education.

The plan would cost about 1.8 trillion dollars over 10 years and is to be financed with tax increases and more consistent collection of taxes due, the White House announced on Tuesday evening.

Biden’s proposal includes investments of about 1 trillion dollars and 800 billion dollars in tax reductions for families, according to his administration.

For example, the president plans to spend 200 billion dollars on funding two years of pre-school for 3 and 4-year-olds.

The US government also aims to invest about 109 billion dollars to offer two years of free undergraduate studies at community colleges, which gives students the opportunity of a more affordable college degree afterwards.

Another 85 billion dollars is to be spent on the extension of existing scholarships.

In addition, Biden wants to expand the child tax credit and help with childcare costs, depending on income. Paid sick leave and up to three months of maternity leave are also to become the norm in the US.

The president’s proposals need to be approved by Congress. While Biden’s Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, they would need Republican support in the Senate to pass the package.

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