These legislative proposals that may affect your portfolio

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, second from right, speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC on July 28, 2021.

Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Retirement security

I think retirement security is on their radar.

Paul Richman

Head of Government and Political Affairs at the Institute for Insured Retirement

The bills would also lift the caps on retirement income streams for qualified longevity annuity contracts and provide 401 (k) access to part-time workers, among other measures.

“I think retirement security is on their radar,” said Paul Richman, director of government and policy affairs at the Insured Retirement Institute. “And it’s on their to-do list for this session of Congress.”

With competing priorities this fall, the bill may not pass until the end of the year, but that is likely to happen before the end of this session, he added.

Rating: 10

Student loan forgiveness

Student borrowers are still waiting signs that their debt may be canceled. But the cancellation was not part of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan or budget request to Congress.

The US Department of Justice and the US Department of Education are currently examining Biden’s legal authority to write off student debt through executive action. If Biden doesn’t get the green light, Congress will have to approve the measure.

Meanwhile, Biden extended the student loan payment hiatus on Friday until January 2022, so borrowers might not see any movement until next year.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Recently renewed their calls for Biden to write off up to $ 50,000 in federal student loans per borrower. However, experts say $ 10,000 may be more realistic.

“I think it’s more likely now than it ever has been in the past because there seems to be a lot of support for it,” higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz said. “President Biden has reaffirmed his commitment to his pledge to forgive $ 10,000.”

“So I think it’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s just a matter of when and how much.” It is also unclear whether and how the cancellation can be targeted.

Rating: 7-8

Enhanced child tax credit

Last month, millions of families began to receive extended child tax credit monthly payments. Passed by Congress in March as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the measure temporarily increased the credit from $ 2,000 to $ 3,000.

Payments provide $ 300 per month per child under 6 and $ 250 per month for children 6 to 17. Eligible families will receive payments until the end of the year, for a total of $ 3,600 per child under 6 and $ 3,000 for children 6 to 17.

Experts say the expanded tax credit, along with other measures in the American Rescue Plan Act, could help cut child poverty in half. As a result, some officials are calling for the increase in appropriations to be permanent.

“I think there is a much better chance that something permanent will be adopted over the next few years,” said Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “But I don’t think that will look exactly like the arrangement that is in place today.”

There may be bipartisan negotiations going forward with some type of credit expansion, he said.

Rating: 6

Extension of health insurance

Senate Democrats have proposed a significant expansion of Medicare – including coverage for dental, hearing and vision care – under their $ 3.5 trillion budget in July.

There are currently about 62.7 million people enrolled in Medicare, the majority of whom are over 65, and most use it as their primary form of health insurance.

Part A of Medicare provides inpatient coverage and Part B is for outpatient care. But there is usually no insurance for dental, hearing and vision care, which causes older people to skip care.

Almost half of Medicare registrants do not have dental insurance and 47% have not seen a dentist in the past year, in 2018, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Although Medicare Part C, known as Medicare Advantage Plans, provides some coverage for dental, hearing and vision care, only 40% of beneficiaries have these plans.

While Senate Democrats have offered few details, a House bill from Representative Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas offers coverage for hearing aids and exams, dentures, emergency dental care and preventive, refractive eye exams and glasses.

With limited calendar space this fall, it’s hard to see how quickly the Medicare proposal would be implemented, said Timothy Lynch, senior director of the Morgan Lewis law firm. However, he may have better luck with a longer delay.

Rating: 5

Additional stimulation

Since the start of the pandemic, the government has made three rounds of stimulus payments to eligible Americans: $ 1,200 through the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act in March 2020, an additional $ 600 in December as part of a relief measure and $ 1,400 from the American Rescue Plan signed in March 2021.

However, with the unemployment rate at 5.4%, many families are still struggling. While some lawmakers have pushed for recurring stimulus payments, experts say policymakers have focused on other priorities.

“I really don’t think there will be a stomach for any sort of large-scale stimulus,” Lynch said. “I think Republicans, and quite frankly, quite a few Democrats, see the infrastructure package as the next stimulus.”

Rating: 1

(CNBC’s Sarah O’Brien, Lorie Konish, and Annie Nova contributed to this report.)


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