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Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget package funds family programs, clean energy and Medicar

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, May 28, 2021.

Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats released the framework Wednesday for their $3.5 trillion budget resolution bill, which they hope to pass later this summer on a party line vote.

The bill will contain nearly all of President Joe Biden’s American Families Plan bill, plus the addition of expanded Medicare coverage for hearing, vision and dental care.

How long each of the programs would last is still up in the air, however, as is how much money will be dedicated to each of the dozens of programs in the bill.

These are among the thorny questions that Democrats plan to hash out internally later this summer and fall.

It is also unclear when the Senate plans to vote on the budget resolution. The legislation is working its way through the Congress hand-in-hand with another bill, a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal that is still being drafted.

Several centrist Democrats have indicated that they want to pass the infrastructure bill before they cast a vote for the budget resolution bill.

If it ultimately becomes law, the massive budget bill would make profound changes to the way millions of Americans educate their children, care for the elderly and fund healthcare.

Here are the topline projects:

  • Create a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program.
  • Fund free universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • Fund free community college for all students, expand the total amount of Pell Grants, and increase the maximum individual award.
  • Expand access to the summer EBT program, which helps some low-income families with children buy food outside the school year.
  • Extend the $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus plan’s provision lowering health insurance premiums for those who buy coverage on their own.
  • Extending the child tax credit expansion that was included in the Covid relief bill.

The bill also contains funding for clean energy programs, many of which were cut from the bipartisan infrastructure deal that Biden and a small group of Democrats reached with Republicans last month.

Among the programs that the legislation would fund are tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, a Civilian Climate Corps program for young people and energy efficient building weatherization and electrification projects.

In order to fund the massive new investments, Democrats have announced plans to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals. They also plan to fund enhanced enforcement by the IRS, in order to crack down on people who underpay or cheat on their taxes.

Another piece of the pay for equation will be new methane reduction and polluter import fees, to raise revenue and accelerate emissions reductions.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates

— CNBC’s Emma Newburger contributed to this report.


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