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Biden’s American Families Plan ‘groundbreaking,’ says AFSCME President Saunders

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By Pete Levine ·

President Joe Biden detailed to a joint session of Congress the American Families Plan, which will improve the lives of working families while broadening opportunities for them.

The bold plan includes $1 trillion in investments, with $800 billion in tax credits, which will address what Biden said are the four biggest challenges facing Americans right now: education, child care, paid leave and achieving financial stability.

“We can’t be so busy competing with each other that we forget the competition is with the rest of the world to win the 21st century,” Biden said. “To win that competition for the future, we also need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in our families – in our children.”

In a statement, AFSCME President Lee Saunders said, “With this new proposal, President Biden is reaffirming his commitment to a sweeping, transformational agenda that empowers working people, creates good union jobs and gives everyone a chance to succeed.”

“The American Families Plan is bold and groundbreaking,” added Saunders, who applauded the plan’s breadth.

Saunders said it encompasses everything from “universal pre-k education to two years of free community college, from comprehensive paid leave to expanded nutrition assistance. It also includes critical investments in child care that will give working families peace of mind, while increasing pay and training opportunities for providers.”

Of the $503 billion that will go toward education, the American Families Plan includes $200 billion for free universal pre-K, $109 billion toward two years of free community college (which includes opportunities for “Dreamers” pursuing community college), $9 billion toward teacher training and more.

On the child care front, Biden’s plan invests $225 billion, including money to increase pay and expand training for child care workers. It sets aside $45 billion for nutrition assistance and $225 billion for paid leave.

The plan will be paid for by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share of taxes. Those earning under $400,000, however, would see no tax increase.

Saunders also noted that Biden’s American Rescue Plan, signed into law seven weeks ago, “is already delivering urgently needed assistance to families and communities – including nearly $700 billion for public services – to help the nation recover from the pandemic. The American Families Plan takes the next crucial steps toward building back better.” 

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