Joseph R. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, outlined a proposal Tuesday calling for $775 billion in federal spending to expand child care and home care services for older Americans and people with disabilities.
The proposal is the latest plank of the former vice president’s “Build Back Better” agenda for the nation to recover from the coronavirus crisis and chip away at the lingering sense that President Trump is stronger when it comes to jobs and the economy.
“For all his bluster about his expertise on the economy, he is unable to explain how he will actually help working families hit the hardest,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in his hometown Wilmington, Delaware. “He’s quit on you. He’s quit on this country.”
The Trump campaign said Mr. Biden is offering up “the same failed, old, liberal ideas he has been peddling for half a century.”
“There’s a reason Joe Biden presided over the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression the last time he was in charge: Biden simply has no clue,” the Trump campaign said. “Just like the rest of the radical Democrats who have co-opted his campaign, the only thing Biden knows how to do is raise taxes, kill jobs, and pass regulations that strangle small businesses.”
Mr. Biden said that people need more options, given the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of schools and the fears over the increased risk the virus poses for older adults.
His plan would invest in child-care facilities and state governments so they can clear the long waiting lists for home and community care services through Medicaid.
He pledged to add 150,000 community health workers. He called for universal access to preschool for 3 to 4-year-olds, and for low-income families to have access to up to $8,000 in tax credits per child to help cover child-care costs.
He also called for tax credits for businesses that build child-care facilities, and for increasing the pay of caregivers and early childhood educators.
The plan, which is funded by rolling back tax cuts for real estate investors, could generate 3 million new jobs over a decade, he said.
“This is a fresh, bold way to build up a critical part of our labor force and help us recover faster and stronger,” Mr. Biden said.
The coronavirus and the economy are weighing heavily on the electorate a little over 100 days out from the election.
A Fox News poll released this week found that 29% of voters saw COVID-19 as the most important issue facing the country, followed by the economy and jobs, 15%, and race relations, 10%.
By a 51% to 34% margin, voters say Mr. Biden was best suited to handle the virus, according to the poll.
Voters were split, 44% to 43%, over which of the presidential contenders would do a better job with the economy.