The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee unveiled the third part of his economic recovery program, which includes expanding care for children, elderly Americans, and people living with disabilities.
In an effort to “ease the squeeze” for working families, Joe Biden announced a plan Tuesday to mobilize “a 21st century care and early childhood education workforce to deal with the caregiving crisis in our nation.”
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee unveiled the third part of his four-part “Build Back Better” economic recovery program, which includes expanding care for children, elderly Americans, and people living with disabilities.
Biden released a $2 trillion environmental proposal last week and a $700 billion package the week before seeking to increase government purchasing of American goods and invest in new research and development. He is attempting to illustrate for voters how the coronavirus can present opportunities for job growth and new policy priorities in contrast to President Donald Trump, who has promised to rebuild the economy stronger than ever but otherwise struggled to articulate what he hopes to accomplish with a second term.
“Families are squeezed emotionally and financially,” Biden said Tuesday during a speech at an early childhood education center in New Castle, Delaware. “They need help; too often they can’t afford it … and the professional caregivers out there are more often women of color and immigrant [and] are too often underpaid, unseen, and undervalued.”
The former vice president referred to his plan as having some of the boldest proposals, which include adding 150,000 more healthcare jobs to the workforce and providing free preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old via a joint federal-state universal pre-K program.
“We can also make high quality child care affordable and accessible,” he said. “Low- and middle-income families won’t spend more than 7% of their income for childcare for children under the age of 5.”
In addition to offering low-income and middle-class families a tax credit of up to $8,000 to help pay for child care and working to expand after-school, weekend and summer care, Biden also said he wants to offer pay increases to childcare providers and early educators, as well as bonuses for those working nontraditional hours.
Throughout his speech, Biden continued what has become a centerpiece of his campaign, working to project empathy and tying families struggling to cope with the health and economic crisis with his own experience as a single father to two young sons after his wife and toddler daughter were killed in a car crash just before Christmas in 1972.
“I know it’s hard to think about the future when you’re just trying to get through the crisis at hand,” he said.
Biden’s proposal also aims to provide states with the necessary assistance to help with the long backlog of people who have applied for Medicaid and are waiting to be processed.
“[We need] to make sure we ease the financial burden for more families going forward,” Biden said. “We have to make a long-term federal investment.”
In order to help pay for the ongoing costs for his plan, Biden said he would roll back back some of the president’s tax cuts for real estate investors with incomes over $400,000 and close loopholes for big corporations.
“[If] we invest that, that would add up to $775 billion over 10 years,” Biden said. “We invest that into building our economy back, better than it was before.”
Biden also took jabs at the president, saying he’s failed his “most important test as being an American president: the duty to care.”
“This man simply doesn’t understand: We can’t deal with our economic crisis without solving the public health crisis,” Biden said. “For all his bluster about his expertise on the economy, he is unable to explain how he will actually help the working families hit the hardest.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.