The inclusion of health funding in the jobs and infrastructure package Congress is preparing in response to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is endangered by concerns over its cost. This is leading some Democratic members of Congress to pressure the Administration and moderates within their caucuses to not give up on health funding provisions, including a $400 billion investment in the Home and Community-Based Services program. Learn more about how this investment could change the program from this Kaiser Family Foundation brief.
This funding is a priority issue for ANCOR. Joined by 39 member state associations representing 33 states, ANCOR sent Congressional leadership a letter urging the retention of the HCBS funding provisions in any jobs and infrastructure legislation. We encourage our members who reside in Arizona, Delaware, West Virginia, and Maine to reach out to their Senators to ask for their support for the HCBS funding provisions. Senators in those states in particular have expressed concerns about the cost. We will keep members informed of additional opportunities for action in the near future.
In the meantime, Senate Republicans have released their opening gambit in response to the American Jobs Plan. We share this reporting by ASAE to keep our members abreast of those discussions:
“Senate Democrats have already dismissed the narrowly focused infrastructure counter-proposal offered by Senate Republicans today, increasing the probability that Senate leaders will attempt to move President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs package through budget reconciliation.
The Republican plan, offered by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and others, proposes roughly $568 billion in new spending for roads, highways and bridges, with additional money set aside for upgrading water pipes, improving airports and seaports and improving broadband connectivity to parts of the country that lack it. The plan’s supporters suggested that the spending could be financed through user fees, including new charges on owners of electric vehicles.
The GOP plan is vastly smaller than the one championed by Biden and congressional Democrats and includes no new tax increases on corporations, which the White House has proposed as a pay-for. In an interview with POLITICO yesterday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo called the GOP proposal ‘a starting point for further negotiation.’
Another possibility was suggested this week by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), which was to separate Biden’s infrastructure package into two bills: one that can pass with bipartisan support and the second with the other provisions of Biden’s plan that could pass on a party-line vote.”
Further reading – how is the Biden Administration planning to pay for all its proposals? This Axios article gives a brief overview of changes to the top marginal income tax rate and capital gains tax rate which President Biden is expected to unveil in coming days. Ed. Note: Although Axios describes the Biden proposal as “eye-popping,” the proposal would only raise the marginal tax rate by 2.6 percentage points, returning it to 2017 levels and remaining well below its levels for the majority of tax years since its inception in 1913.
We also suggest our members read this explainer on the marginal income tax rate system used by the United States. It is important to note that the top marginal income tax rate would only apply to a segment of a person’s qualifying income, not the entirety of their yearly income.
As the Biden administration finalizes its tax reform proposal, CQ is reporting that some members of Congress are forming a caucus to pressure President Biden to include the return of the federal state and local tax deduction (commonly known as SALT) in his tax reform proposals. See the caucus membership list here.