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Biden To Propose Free Preschool, Community College In Address To Congress

Biden To Propose Free Preschool, Community College In Address To Congress

President Joe Biden will announce a roughly $1.8 trillion plan to invest in universal preschool, free community college and expanded access to child care in his joint address to Congress on Wednesday night, the White House said.

The proposal, which the White House calls the American Families Plan, would also increase taxes on the wealthy to offset the cost over 15 years. It is the second phase of Biden's two-part push to reshape the economy, following the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which he announced last month.

"We view the American Families Plan as a core element of President Biden's strategy to build back better and generate a strong and inclusive economy for the future," a senior administration official said in a call with reporters.

The official argued that by investing in social programs to help families, the plan would reduce deficits in the long term.

The American Families Plan would provide universal preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds, as well as two years of free community college. Both programs would be available regardless of income. The plan would also extend the expansion of the federal child tax credit in the American Rescue Plan through 2025 and permanently make the tax credit fully refundable.

It would also ensure that low- and middle-income families did not pay more than 7 percent of their incomes on child care, which could entirely wipe out the cost for some of the poorest Americans. The plan would also establish a national paid leave program that would provide up to $4,000 a month for 12 weeks for parental, family or personal leave.

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