Biden’s next two stimulus bills: 5 ways you could see more money in 2021

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There’s more than one way a future stimulus bill could bring you more money. Sarah Tew/CNET What comes after the $1,400 stimulus check and plus-up payments, after the $3,600 child tax credit and $16,000 tax break for child and dependent care? If President Joe Biden has his way, the answer […]

There’s more than one way a future stimulus bill could bring you more money.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What comes after the $1,400 stimulus check and plus-up payments, after the $3,600 child tax credit and $16,000 tax break for child and dependent care? If President Joe Biden has his way, the answer is: Two new stimulus packages for a combined $3 trillion, with $1 trillion focused almost exclusively on free education and money back for families.

As with all bills, it’s likely Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan proposals will change through debate in Congress. The discussion comes as jobs grew slower than expected, a hurdle in the economic rebound expected as COVID-19 vaccination rates rise and businesses reopen. If a petition for a fourth stimulus check fails to sway Congress, there may still be more money coming your way in other forms.

So, what’s in it for you? We’ll explain how you could benefit from the new plans, based on what we know today. For more information, here’s how to find out if the IRS owes you an extra refund, how much you could get with the child tax credit and how you could claim money from your state. This story was recently updated.

What is Biden’s American Jobs Plan?

The American Jobs Plan is the first bill Biden is eyeing, a $2 trillion plan to build and upgrade roads and transportation hubs, improve the power grid, fund EV car charging, expand affordable housing and bring high-speed broadband to more rural areas. 

As far as we know, the American Jobs Plan wouldn’t include a fourth check or other obvious savings. It’s the bill after that — the American Families Plan — that could come closer to sending more money to individuals and families.

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How would the American Families Plan work?

After the Biden administration completes its infrastructure and jobs plan, it would move on to seek $1 trillion spending and $500 billion in new tax credits, according to the Washington Post. Here are some of the main areas the American Families Plan could cover:

Extend the expanded child tax credit through 2025: The temporary expansion of the child tax credit (how to calculate your total) in March’s stimulus bill is expected to reduce child poverty by 45%, according to Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy, and lift nearly 5 million children out of poverty entirely. However, the short-term rate hike is set to expire this year unless Congress renews the program. Biden’s plan would extend the expanded child credit payments to 2025.


Lawmakers have plans to send you money too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Two years of tuition-free community college: As a presidential candidate, Biden said he would work to make the first two years of college free. Biden’s plan would cover the first two years of community college, including for adults and new high school graduates. Training programs outside of community colleges would also qualify. Students would still be responsible for some expenses, like textbooks.

Free prekindergarten instruction: For another campaign pledge, the American Families Plan proposes free pre-K education for 3- and 4-year-olds.

More affordable child care: Biden during his campaign said he would work to make child care more affordable for working families through tax credits and subsidies for child care costs. His new plan embraces that campaign plan for child care.

Paid family and medical leave: Biden proposed broader support for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

3 other ways you could get more money

Details of the second and third pieces of Biden’s stimulus plans are still being worked out, but other proposals are already under discussion that could either let you hold on to more of your money or send you new payments.

Student loan forgiveness of $10,000 or $50,000: With student loan debt reaching $1.7 trillion at the end of 2020 — for an average loan amount of $30,000 — student debt is higher than auto loans and credit cards, according to nonpartisan think tank Brookings Institution. Biden has proposed canceling $10,000 in debt per student and has directed Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to explore if he has the authority to cancel student debt. Biden didn’t mention canceling debt in his speech.

Send a fourth stimulus check — or checks: The IRS is still making one-time payments for the third stimulus check as well as circling back for those whom it either missed paying or underestimated their payments. But before Biden even signed the American Rescue Plan bill in March, members of Congress were calling on Biden to include a fourth round of payments in the next big bill.

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Minimum wage hike to $11 or $15 an hour: The first effort by Biden and members of Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour ran aground in March when the Senate failed to advance a wage increase. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Congress would continue work for the wage boost. “We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families,” he said in a statement. Biden again in his speech urged Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

For more on your money, here’s who can get $50 back on their internet plan, how to report a problem with your stimulus check and how 7.3 million people could get up to $10,200 back from the IRS for unemployment check taxes.

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