White House Proposals for Long-Term Recovery
Building a Tomorrow that Better Serves Families
In March and April 2021, the Biden Administration announced two proposed plans that laid down the critical underpinnings for a strong recovery. They included significant investments to expand economic growth and economic security for all Americans. Congress is working to advance the ideas in the proposals through the legislative and budgetary processes.
The original proposals:
Through a slate of engagement opportunities, our advocates made it clear to elected officials that any response must address the needs of women and families during the pandemic and beyond.
Each of the three recovery proposals of 2021 — the American Rescue Plan Act, the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan — are core pieces of a larger package. While the CARES Act and Omnibus Deal in 2020 focused on the emergency crisis relief, the proposals in 2021 are working toward a long-term recovery plan aimed at improving and building systems needed to ensure a stronger future for all. The Biden Administration proposals:
- The American Jobs Plan aimed to invest heavily in infrastructure, housing and public health to address the country’s most pressing needs, including building new public schools and child care facilities, improving care economy job benefits and wages and providing job training to attract workers to critical sectors.
- The American Families Plan targeted how our nation can invest in the services and programs that will support women and families even after the effects of the pandemic subside. Training and preparing workers in pre-K child care and K-12 teachers, supporting access to and affordability of higher education, and creating a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program will repair and strengthen the future of women and families beyond the current crises.
Collectively, the American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan were designed to make significant investments to expand economic growth and security, support education and bolster the care economy.
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To ensure greater economic security, the plans propose to:
- Reform unemployment insurance.
- Extend the expanded Affordable Care Act premium tax credits in the American Rescue Plan.
- Expand the child tax credit for those families with children six years and older from $2,000 to $3,000 per child, increase it for those families with children under six to $3,600 per child, include 17-year-olds and make the payments regular throughout the year.
- Provide workforce opportunities through job training for in-demand sectors, increasing registered apprenticeships and offering wraparound services for dislocated workers.
In education, the plans:
- Call for increasing critical funding to Title I programs in high-poverty schools and upgrading and building new public schools and child care facilities.
- Create a national partnership with states to provide free universal pre-school for three- and four-year-olds, with a priority on those students in high-need areas.
- Address teacher shortages, teacher preparation and teacher diversity, including preparing and developing special education teachers.
- Support two years of free community college.
- Invest in Pell Grants, leading to a $1,400 increase in awards and making Dreamers eligible to receive the grant.
- Invest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including expanding and strengthening educational programs in high-demand fields (e.g., STEM, computer sciences, nursing and allied health).
The care economy is further bolstered by:
- Expanding access to home- or community-based care, with increased benefits and training for those workers in the care economy.
- Ensuring low- and middle-income families have access to high-quality child care, so families do not have to spend more than 7% of their income on care.
- Ensuring early childhood staff earn a $15 minimum wage and that those with similar qualifications as kindergarten teachers receive comparable compensation and benefits.
- Creating a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that will guarantee 12 weeks of paid parental, family and personal illness/safe leave by year 10 of the program. It also would include three days of bereavement leave per year starting in the first year of the program.
As women continue to bear a disproportionate burden of the ongoing crises, they need bold measures now. They need access to good jobs, affordable health care, high quality child care and educational opportunities to prepare them for tomorrow’s jobs. But we can only achieve this by addressing a crumbling infrastructure that extends beyond bridges and roads. There is no single way to achieve recovery success for everyone—we must focus on all facets of life to move toward a more secure tomorrow.
Check out our full list of advocacy actions in the Crisis Recovery Activist Toolkit to ensure that a stronger tomorrow includes the critical services women and families need today.