WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden plans to roll out a $775 billion proposal aimed at easing the burden on families struggling to care for their children and elderly relatives under the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic.
The former vice president's campaign said the plan would lead to 3 million new caregiving and education jobs during the next decade while allowing other caregivers--including many women--to re-enter the workforce if they choose to do so.
Mr. Biden is expected to unveil his plan in a speech Tuesday in New Castle, Del., his latest economic proposal in recent weeks, as he attempts to undercut President Trump's case for re-election based in part on his stewardship of the economy. A Biden adviser said the latest initiative is aimed at "easing the squeeze that working families all over this country are feeling everyday."
Mr. Biden's campaign said the cost of the proposal would be paid for by rolling back tax breaks for real-estate investors with incomes of more than $400,000 annually, in addition to enhanced tax compliance and enforcement. The plan is the latest proposal from Mr. Biden. Earlier this month, he outlined a $700 billion "Buy American" economic plan and a separate $2 trillion economic-development agenda to combat climate change.
The plan also aims to address the state of the nation's elder care system. The system has been at the forefront of concern during the pandemic, with coronavirus outbreaks striking vulnerable residents in nursing homes.
Mr. Biden's campaign said $450 billion from the plan would be devoted to elderly care, generating an estimated 1.5 million jobs in caregiving and community health care. It would also attempt to eliminate the waiting list of about 800,000 people for home and community services under Medicaid, which provides health coverage for low-income people.
The remaining $325 billion from the proposal would center on increasing the availability of child care to address a potential reduction in available slots due to the pandemic. The campaign said this is a response to families grappling with a lack of child-care options as schools and care centers have been closed due to Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
As part of the proposal, Mr. Biden is expected to pledge to provide access to free prekindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds, recommendations produced by a joint policy task force with allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I., Vt). The campaign said the increase in child-care and preschool slots would create 1.5 million new child care and early education jobs.
Mr. Biden would offer low- and middle-income families up to $8,000 in tax credits per child to help pay for child care, or $16,000 for two or more children. Families earning between $125,000 and $400,000 annually would be eligible for a partial credit, the campaign said.
His plan would also seek to boost pay and benefits for child-care workers and expand subsidies to increase access for children to attend after-school, weekend and summer-care programs. It would also try to increase child-care options for students attending community colleges.