White House Lists State-by-State Aid in Bid to Pass Biden Plan
(Bloomberg) -- The White House will seek to win support for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda by listing the benefits that would flow to each state under the Democrats’ spending framework, including free preschool and subsidized child care.
The administration’s analysis may prove useful in swaying Democrats who haven’t yet committed to supporting Biden’s $1.75 trillion plan, particularly Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, whose votes are critical for passage.
For instance, the plan would allow West Virginia to expand access for preschool to 27,753 three- and four-olds, along with 139,000 in Arizona, the White House said. An estimated 457,864 children in Arizona would become eligible for subsidized child care, along with an estimated 94,170 youngsters in West Virginia, according to the estimate.
The administration plans to publish the state-by-state analysis soon in hopes of generating public support and pressuring Democrats to vote for the spending plan. The White House is also trying to win enough votes for a bipartisan infrastructure bill that’s been delayed by progressives as they push for a deal.
Congressional Democrats began a new round of haggling on the spending plan as they worked to fill in details and deal with last-minute attempts to restore priorities that had been left out.
Biden has said he believes both Manchin and Sinema will support the $1.75 trillion framework he unveiled Thursday. The two senators have wielded outsized leverage over the process in the evenly split Senate, giving Democrats no room for dissent. Through extensive negotiations with Biden, they have whittled down his plan and left some progressive priorities by the wayside. All 50 Republicans have opposed the package.
The package would also expand Pell Grants for 25,206 students in West Virginia and 112,180 students in Arizona. The White House also forecasts that 158,000 people in Arizona and 31,000 in West Virginia will gain coverage under health-care provisions in the bill.
The combination of child care subsidies, free preschool, a one-year extension of the child-tax credit and the Pell Grants used after high school are a package of measures designed to benefit families, a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity Friday. The state-by-state summaries are designed to boil down abstract, trillion-dollar national figures into tangible measures in each state, the official said.
In Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, the package would provide universal preschool for 101,361 kids, the White House analysis found. One part stipulates that families who earn under 2.5 times the state median income -- households that have over 300,000 kids in Kentucky -- have access to child care at a cost of no more than 7% of their income. An estimated 61,000 uninsured people will gain coverage in Kentucky, the analysis found.
In California, 849,000 children will gain access to free universal preschool, along with another 588,286 kids in Texas and 329,176 kids in New York state. An estimated 2.2 million kids in California, 2 million in Texas and 1.1 million youngsters in New York live in families who’d become eligible for subsidized child care, the estimates show.
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