Steve July 28, 2020
biden-unveils-economic-plan-to-combat-racial-inequality

Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious plan to combat racial inequality in the U.S. that focuses on providing assistance to minority small business owners and making housing more affordable for families of color.

Biden will speak about the plan — which represents the last plank of his four-part “Build Back Better” economic revitalization agenda — Tuesday afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware.

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The plan, details about which were released earlier in day by the campaign, calls for investing $150 billion of already allocated spending to help minority small businesses owners. About one third of that amount would be public and private venture capital for Black and brown entrepreneurs, while the other $100 billion will be devoted to low interest business loans for state, local, tribal and nonprofit lending for community members.

The campaign also proposed setting a new goal of spending 15 percent of federal procurement on small disadvantaged businesses, primarily for Black- and brown-owned businesses.

The plan largely repackages dozens of policies already proposed by the campaign that directly addresses Black, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American communities. But by adding them to his large-scale economic package, they could have a greater chance of becoming legislation as the campaign eyes adding the agenda to future stimulus proposals during a Biden presidency.

The plan also lays out how Biden would prioritize helping Black and brown communities find affordable housing. The plan calls for new construction of 1.5 million homes and public housing units and for creating a new advanceable tax credit of up to $15,000 designed to help families of color make a down payment for their first homes.

In an effort to ease employment opportunities for non-violent offenders, the proposal calls for helping states modernize their criminal justice record-keeping so that local governments can quickly expunge or seal records.

The final pillar of Biden’s “Build Back Better” economic agenda comes as the U.S. continues to grapple with protests over race and policing that were touched off by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and as the coronavirus pandemic has affected communities of color disproportionately.

The Biden campaign has also said the economic package is a direct response to the pandemic’s effect on the economy and draws a contrast with what his campaign has repeatedly criticized as the Trump administration’s poor response to the coronavirus crisis.

Image: Adam EdelmanAdam Edelman

Adam Edelman is a political reporter for NBC News.

Marianna Sotomayor

Marianna Sotomayor is a 2020 campaign embed for NBC News. 

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