Congressional Update: American Families Plan; Infrastructure Plan; Clean Energy Tax Code Changes

In his first address to the Joint Session of Congress April 28, President Biden announced the second of his two-part infrastructure proposal, the American Families Plan, which is being touted as a social and human infrastructure package.

The 10-year, $1.8 trillion proposal includes investments and tax credits for American families and children in education, nutrition, and childcare, paid for in part by an increase in the individual tax rate by the wealthiest Americans.

Infrastructure Plan

Congress continues to draft legislative text to implement President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. President Biden said the plan represented a “blue-collar blueprint to build America” by investing in clean energy.

While no clear consensus has emerged, one option that has gained traction is for Congress to pass a smaller, bipartisan measure before summer focusing on roads, bridges, transit, water, and broadband.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who has led the GOP’s negotiations with Senate Democrats and the White House, said recently that talks are making progress and that “it’s all moving forward.”

While the Republican’s $600 billion counter offer was far lower than what the Administration proposed, the White House and Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) believe the offer is serious and that progress can be made.

Tax Code Changes

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to consider the role the U.S. tax code can play in addressing climate change and creating clean energy jobs.

Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) promoted his Clean Energy for America Act, which would eliminate tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry and preserve them for clean energy, clean transportation, and energy efficiency.

Last week, Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Committee member Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released a discussion draft of their competing proposal, the Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act, which would encourage innovation in the clean energy sector.

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