A $1.8 trillion plan for American families

Email sent: Apr 28, 2021 6:02pm

President Joe Biden will unveil his $1.8 trillion human infrastructure package for American families before Congress Wednesday; the EU and Britain finalize their first post-Brexit trade agreement.


Tonight's Sentences was written by Gregory Svirnovskiy.

Biden's $1.8 trillion American Families Plan
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • President Joe Biden will unveil a $1.8 trillion package called the American Families Plan at his first address before a joint session of Congress Wednesday evening. Key elements of the plan would help families afford child care, provide paid family and medical leave, and make community colleges and prekindergarten education universally accessible and tuition-free. [Vox / Anna North and Ella Nilsen]
  • The AFP is the third multitrillion-dollar proposal crafted by the Biden administration in its first 100 days, twin to the American Jobs Plan, announced by the president earlier this month. Unlike the Jobs Plan, which is set to be funded by increased corporate taxes on international companies, the administration would pay for the AFP in part by doubling the capital gains tax for households making over $1 million and cracking down on tax loopholes used by high-income earners. [USA Today / Joey Garrison]
  • One plan reinvests in roads and bridges, the other in people and education. "Together, these plans reinvest in the future of the American economy and American workers, and will help us out-compete China and other countries around the world," a White House statement released Wednesday said. [CBS News / Sarah Ewall-Wice and Fin Gomez]
  • If passed, the bill would spend $200 billion on universal prekindergarten; $109 billion on tuition-free community college offerings; $85 billion to increase the reach and effectiveness of Pell Grants; and $4 billion toward teacher education and certification. [The Hill / Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant]
  • Republicans are criticizing Biden’s expansive definition of infrastructure, and appear far less willing to fund universal education and social welfare programs than roads and tangible building projects. Other critics hold that targeted programs, rather than universal policies, would help achieve the goals of the AFP at a lower cost. [NYT / Jim Tankersley and Dana Goldstein]
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The EU and Britain approve a trade and cooperation agreement
  • By a vote of 660 to 5, with 32 abstentions, the European Parliament overwhelmingly affirmed the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the first post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the EU. The vote ends years of contentious exit negotiations  following the British electorate's vote to leave the EU in 2016. [Reuters / Philip Blenkinsop]
  • Overwhelming support for the trade deal cannot be taken as a sign of a particularly close relationship between the EU and its former member country, however. In a statement accompanying their vote, EU legislators again called Brexit a “historic mistake.” Since Britain left the EU single market at the turn of the year, the two sides have squabbled over the Northern Ireland Protocol and Covid-19 supplies. [AP / Samuel Petrequin]
  • David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, said the treaty could serve as the first step in “a new chapter together as Europeans, characterised by friendly cooperation between sovereign equals.” By contrast, the chief negotiator on the EU’s side, Michel Barnier, called it “a divorce” and "a warning." [BBC]
  • And sticking points remain. Financial services and foreign security were left out of the deal, and EU legislators have little faith in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ability to stick to the deal, particularly as it relates to his handling of the Northern Ireland Protocol. [NYT / Steven Erlanger]
  • Still, Johnson cast the vote as a turning point in British and European relations, signaling his government is ready to turn the page. “This week is the final step in a long journey, providing stability to our new relationship with the EU as vital trading partners, close allies and sovereign equals,” Johnson said. “Now is the time to look forward to the future and to building a more global Britain.” [Guardian / Daniel Boffey]
Somalia’s president dropped his bid for an extended term in office, after his attempts to block a planned February election resulted in unrest in Mogadishu and growing opposition in Parliament and among the military.

[AP / Hassan Barise]

  • The Navy SEAL program is getting a major overhaul, shifting its efforts from counterterrorism to countering global threats like China and Russia. SEAL platoons will be cut by 30 percent, with their respective sizes increased, and the process to join will be far more intensive than in years past. [Al Jazeera]
  • A New York Post reporter resigned after she said she was ordered to write a fake story about a children's book authored by Vice President Kamala Harris being given to children at the newly set up child migrant processing centers. [The Hill / Jordan Williams]
  • The 2020 Census appears to have resulted in undercounts, especially in the Sunbelt states, where burgeoning Hispanic populations were likely overlooked. The implications are important: New York lost a House seat. So did Illinois. Texas only gained two. [Politico / Zach Montellaro and Ally Mutnick]
  • Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a formal investigation from a UK political watchdog over how he paid to renovate his apartment at 10 Downing Street. Any funds used on the apartment needed to be declared publicly, something Johnson allegedly did not do. [CNN / Ivana Kottasová and Lindsay Isaac]
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“This is not a step I take lightly. However, it could be the last time we need to impose this level of restrictions given our vaccination trends and the virus’ behavior.”

[Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, confirming that 15 counties in the state will move back into the fourth and most extreme level of public safety restrictions in light of the state’s recent Covid-19 surge]

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