Senate Democrats Push for $3.5tn on Antipoverty, Climate Efforts
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- A comprehensive package to support American families
- US stock markets retain gains
Senate Democrats Push for $3.5tn
Democrats in the US Senate on Monday released the initial version of a $3.5tn antipoverty and climate plan. The aim is to move it together with the $1tn infrastructure plan expected to be approved this week. The separate plan filled with Democratic priorities calls for a major overhaul of the US education system, healthcare sector, and clean-energy investments, among other measures.
In more detail, the emerging package, titled “The American Families Plan”, is expected to include paid family and medical leave, universal prekindergarten for three- and four-year-olds, and two years of tuition-free community college. Expanded Medicare and tax credit for clean-energy projects are also expected to be present in the package.
The $3.5tn legislation, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, would seek to pass without any GOP support. Republicans have already rejected the expansive spending, arguing its substantial size would harm the US economy. In addition, they have also assailed the proposed tax increases suggested as ways to cover the cost.
Democrats have said they will be raising taxes on corporations and high-income households to pay for the plan. While President Biden and the Democrats are aligned over the decision to leave taxes unchanged for individuals making $400,000 or less per year, the specifics of the tax increases are yet to be discussed.
Cryptocurrencies Fare Well
The American Families Plan is intended to advance alongside the $1tn bipartisan infrastructure bill. The latter includes spending on roads, bridges, public transit, and broadband internet, among others. Together, the two stimulus plans aimed to greatly enhance the US economy would represent almost the entire economic agenda of President Joe Biden, who just recently celebrated his 200th day as the US President.
“In our first 200 days, we brought the economy roaring back, vaccinated 165 million Americans, put checks in the pockets of millions of people, and so much more,” Joe Biden said on Twitter, praising the work of his administration. “We’re building back better every day – and just getting started.”
Meanwhile, in economic news, the rebound in economic activity on a global scale remains fragile. Indeed, the latest Covid-19 data suggests the Delta variant continues to spread across the US and Asia. The US on Monday recorded 235,099 new cases, bringing the seven-day average to 124,470 confirmed infections.
US Stock Market Remains Robust
Despite the steep climb in coronavirus cases, the US stock market remains robust and near all-time highs. Monday’s stock market action was dictated by relatively risk-averse investor behavior. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P500 retreated from their record highs set Friday.
The blue-chip Dow Jones declined by a little more than 100 points, while the broad-based S&P500 slid less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite swung from gains to losses around the flatline and ultimately finished higher by a moderate gain of 24.42 points, or 0.16%, to 14,860.18.
As US equity futures on Tuesday hover slightly negative, European markets today opened to the upside. This comes one day after the region-wide Stoxx 600 set a fresh record at 470.68.
Cryptocurrencies, in the meantime, are on a tear. Over the past three weeks, bitcoin has added over 55% to its valuation, while ether is up over 77% for the same period. On Monday, bitcoin breached the $46,000 milestone. The Ethereum token climbed to a high of $3,200 per coin.
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