SOME OF PRESIDENT-ELECT Joe Biden’s most ambitious proposals could be sidetracked by a divided government. But Biden can use his executive powers to modify regulations on everything from Wall Street to student loans.
Control of the Senate is up in the air until early January, as two runoffs in Georgia will determine whether Republicans maintain the majority. If the Senate remains in Republican hands, Biden’s plans to raise taxes on high earners are unlikely to go anywhere.
Biden may have better luck expanding the child tax credit, currently $2,000 per child for married couples with up to $400,000 in income. Biden has proposed expanding the credit to $3,000 per child for children up to age 17 and $3,600 for children 5 and younger. That proposal has support among some Republican senators, who view it as a way to help families who are struggling to pay for child care during the pandemic, which has closed many schools.
Regulatory changes. Biden has signaled a willingness to toughen regulation of the financial services industry by appointing Gary Gensler, a former Obama administration official, to his transition team. As head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gensler led an overhaul of how the government regulated financial derivatives, which were blamed for fueling the collapse of some Wall Street firms in 2008.
The current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, and its two Republican commissioners have pushed for deregulation of the financial services industry, but Biden’s choice to head the SEC will likely advocate a more aggressive approach.
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