Skip to Content

E&L Blog

President Biden’s Crushing American Families Plan

Education and Labor Committee Provisions

The Biden plan would force Americans who do NOT have a college degree to foot the bill for free community college tuition to ALL students, including illegal immigrants.
 
Facts: Republicans want to empower students to get an education that meets their unique needs and sets them up for lifelong success. Democrats want to force Americans to pursue their preferred academic pathway, thereby limiting opportunities and diminishing students’ chances to reach their full potential.

The Biden plan:

  • Decreases Access for Low-Income Students: Eliminating tuition and fees at the nation's cheapest colleges does not solve the college affordability crisis, it only decreases low-income Americans' access to these already low-cost options. "Free" college benefits the rich most of all and exacerbates inequality.
    • Research indicates that redirecting students into community colleges with “free” college proposals leads to an 18 percent decrease in students’ ability to get a baccalaureate degree, results in 20 percent of low-income Americans getting crowded out from more selective four-year colleges, and sets up students for failure after graduation with a much lower wage premium.
  • Is Unnecessary: The current maximum Pell Grant of $6,495 already covers tuition at most community colleges around the country, as does the average Pell Grant. Dumping money into community colleges, where students have the lowest odds of completing their program within six years, is a recipe for disaster.
  • Provides No Accountability: AFP does nothing to address the root causes of skyrocketing college tuition and fees at private non-profit and public baccalaureate degree-granting institutions, even though two out of every three students attend these institutions.
    • The plan fails to hold colleges accountable for poor student outcomes. Colleges should have skin-in-the-game so they succeed when their students succeed. This will also encourage institutions to keep tuition and fees low and reverse the trend of skyrocketing college costs.
    • Instead of authorizing innovations like competency-based education, which can lower college costs, the plan invests in the failed policies of the past.
    • The plan does nothing to bridge the gap between our education and workforce communities. Federal programs from Pell Grants to Work-Study should be reformed to allow for shorter and career-focused education with on-the-job learning.
  • Benefits Illegal Immigrants over Citizens: Democrats are choosing to give grant money to illegal immigrants for college, and the 57 percent of Americans who don’t have a college degree will be stuck footing the bill.

The Biden plan would take over the child care industry and dictate public pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds.
 
Facts: Republicans believe a diverse child care and early education system is critical to rebuilding the post-COVID-19 economy, which is why we have supported additional funding to help families and providers reopen safely.

The Biden plan:

  • Suffocates our Existing Child Care System: Uniform, federally designed early care and education systems do not respond to American families’ wants or needs.
    • Parents need to be able to select the best early education for their child and their family’s unique situation.
    • According to one survey, two-thirds of families with a single parent or two working parents say they were using their ideal child care arrangement in January 2020, which included a mix of formal child care, parent-provided care, and relative care. 
    • Additionally, over half of parents surveyed used care that was affiliated with a faith organization, while only one-third used center-based care.
  • Dictates Government Curriculum for Babies: The federal government shouldn’t dictate the kind of care young children receive. Parents should be able to decide what is the right fit for their children. The last thing we need is federally determined curriculum for 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • Replicates Existing Problems: Extending the K-12 system by two years on either end does not make up for poor outcomes in K-12; it replicates many of the same problems for our youngest learners and postsecondary students.
  • Leaves Children Behind: However earnest the desire to help children and families, the fact is universal pre-K programs can easily get it wrong and leave some kids behind.

The Biden plan would expand free meals to include the wealthy, with zero accountability for taxpayer dollars.
 
Facts: Republicans understand the importance of ensuring students aren’t going hungry during the school day if we want them to focus on their education. However, the AFP takes us in the wrong direction.

The Biden plan:

  • Gives Free Lunch for Wealthy Families: We should focus on helping families in need, not providing free meals to the children of wealthy lobbyists and Members of Congress.
  • Creates More Burden: Simply providing more funds in exchange for meeting yet more requirements does not help address getting students to eat school meals and could exacerbate stigma in the program as many families provide their own healthy and enjoyable meals for children.

The Biden plan calls on Congress to impose a new and costly paid sick leave mandate on businesses
 
Facts: Republicans understand the importance of voluntary employer benefit programs, including access to paid sick leave. Republicans support legislative solutions that allow businesses of all sizes to continue developing personalized and workable paid leave policies. However, the AFP calls on Congress to impose rigid and expensive burdens on all job creators, in the form of H.R. 2465, the so-called Healthy Families Act.
 
The Biden plan:

  • Hurts small businesses: H.R. 2465 would impose an expensive new mandate on employers that would hurt small businesses in particular, many of whom do not employ human resource professionals to deal with this bill’s costly directive and increased legal and compliance burdens.
  • Is faulty: No one knows whether existing, employer-provided leave programs would satisfy H.R. 2465’s new mandate, particularly once federal bureaucrats tack on additional regulations. This flawed approach would threaten the benefits programs already provided to workers.
  • Is unnecessary: Seventy-eight percent of all civilian workers in the United States have access to paid sick leave benefits.
  • Is inflexible: The AFP would further complicate federal, state, and local paid and unpaid leave laws. Employers operating in multiple states and localities will face the burden, expense, and complexity of complying with the new mandate and numerous local, state, and federal paid leave mandates.

The Biden plan would dramatically expand the Affordable Care Act under the guise of making health care more affordable.
 
Facts: Republicans want to increase choice and competition in the health care market to lower costs and increase innovative cures. Democrats want to add more spending to an already bloated and broken government program that will shift the bill to taxpayers instead of lowering health care costs.

The Biden plan:

  • Creates inequities in our tax code: Permanently expanding tax credits to subsidize health insurance bought through Obamacare widens tax inequities between employer-sponsored insurance and insurance offered on the Obamacare exchanges. Under current law, taxpayers already pay $6,625 per Obamacare enrollee, while employer sponsored plans cost $1,779.  Biden thinks we should pay even more per Obamacare enrollee. Obamacare is already a bad deal for taxpayers. The AFP makes the bad deal even worse.
Erodes employer-sponsored coverage: Biden’s scheme to expand Obamacare also plays into the Democrats’ long-term goals of moving to a single payer health care system. While the important “firewall” between employer-sponsored plans and Obamacare, which keeps employer-sponsored plans healthy and premiums low, is still in place, Republicans will continue to fight Democrat-led efforts to break down this firewall and further erode coverage.
Stay Connected