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Biden plans $150 billion for communities of color

Joe Biden plans to detail Tuesday how his "Build Back Better" economic program will help African American and Latino communities, explaining how he will leverage public funds to spur private investment for businesses that are grappling with COVID-19 and generations of structural inequality.

Behind the numbers: In the fourth and final installment of his economic program, Biden will spell out how to specifically allocate for communities of color some of the money that he's previously announced.

  • He'll set aside $30 billion of the $300 billion he announced in his first pillar for innovation funding for small businesses.
  • The goal is to leverage the $30 billion to make more than $150 billion available.

Between the lines: Biden won't be announcing new top-line spending plans. Rather, he'll explain what portions of his plan will be dedicated towards racial equality, using a mix of new and old programs and tax credits.

  • Biden doesn't plan to explain how he'll pay for his economic program, though he (and campaign officials) have said parts of it will be covered by repealing the Trump tax cuts, while other parts will be considered stimulus spending.
  • Campaign officials haven't put a total price tag on Biden's spending ambitions, but the first three planks are likely to cost well north of $3 trillion.
  • His first plank included some $700 billion to create 5 million jobs; the second detailed roughly $2 trillion for climate-friendly infrastructure; and the third promised $775 billion for caregiver and education jobs.

The big picture: After Biden rolls out his economic agenda, attention will turn to his choice to serve as his vice president

  • The final plank in his economic platform, like his other three, borrows heavily from many of his rivals for the Democratic nomination, as Biden looks to aggregate the best ideas in his party, as the country faces an uncertain economic future.

Why it matters: Carefully crafted policy plans are clues to how a candidate will govern. But July's policy pronouncements aren't exactly set in stone. Biden is leaving himself enough flexibility to adapt to the economic effects of COVID-19 and go either bigger or smaller.

Be smart: Campaign battle plans rarely survive first contact with Congress, regardless of who controls one or both chambers. Ask former President Obama how much bigger he thought his 2009 $787 billion plan should have been.

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