Washington — Key Democrats take a neutral position on Wednesday for a new $ 3.5 trillion budget agreement, increasing access to affordable preschool childcare, broader Medicare benefits, poverty and climate change He said the details of a drastic plan to fund a program aimed at fighting against the need to be considered.
Senate leader Chuck Schumer (D., NY) and Democrat of the Budget Committee on Tuesday night Announced $ 3.5 trillion agreement It is used to create a budget resolution that sets legislative parameters, including much of President Biden’s legislative agenda. Democrats want to use a budget-related process called reconciliation to get the package through without Republican support, but to get through the evenly divided Senate, the ranks are full. It is necessary to maintain a good unity.
“We’re going to do this,” Biden said at the Houses of Parliament Wednesday, pumping his fist when he entered a lunchtime meeting with Senate Democrats.
The $ 3.5 trillion agreement was larger than what some Democrats wanted, but was originally pursuing a $ 6 trillion package, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I., Vt). .)’S position has eased.
“We’re waiting to see everything, and we’ll make a decision later,” said Senator Joe Manchin (West), who previously said he wanted the budget package to be less than $ 2 trillion. Virginia) said don’t increase the federal budget deficit. A Democrat of the Budget Committee said Tuesday night that the package would be paid in full with tax increases and other sources of income.
Centrist politician Jon Tester, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Kyrsten Cinema of Arizona also said they needed to learn more about the agreement before deciding whether to support it.
“Look, I’m accepting it,” Tester said Wednesday, saying the federal government thought it appropriate to invest in housing, childcare, and labor training. “We need to know what’s in it and how it’s paid.”
“We will carefully consider ideas that can strengthen Arizona’s economy and help Arizona’s families move forward,” a spokesman for Cinema said.
Congressmen are also working on an infrastructure package of about $ 1 trillion, of which about $ 600 billion will supplement expected federal infrastructure spending. Schumer said the two efforts would combine to get the Senate on track to approve most of Biden’s legislation.
“This is a transgenerational transformational change to help American families in need of help in this rapidly changing world,” Schumer said Wednesday on the Senate floor.
The White House spokesman, Jen Psaki, said the deal “currently represents and is in line with the president’s priorities.”
Republicans have criticized the Democratic Party for preparing to inject trillions of dollars into the economy with additional federal funding, saying it could boost inflation.
Senator Steve Daines (R., Mont.) Said his members “want to keep the hard-earned dollars, and they were worth something at the end of the day. I hope there is. “
The Democratic law is element of Mr. Byden’s proposal to require paid leave, subsidized childcare, extended child tax credit extensions, universal kindergartens, and tax incentives for clean energy investments. It is expected to reflect. Schumer said the Democratic bill would also expand Medicare to cover dental, visual and auditory care. This is a clause endorsed by Mr Sanders and other progressives.
Mr Sanders said Wednesday that he expected the package to contain immigration-related provisions and was expected to increase his income through fees.
The expanded child tax deduction, which is characteristic of the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue program passed by the Democratic Party earlier this year, is likely to be extended to 2024 as part of the settlement package, according to people familiar with the plan. .. The White House initially proposed extending it to 2025, but some Democrats sought to make it permanent.
The Liberal Democratic Party of the House and Senate has indicated that it will only support infrastructure bills if there is sufficient support to pass the education and poverty alleviation package. Given that Republicans are not expected to vote, Democrats can only proceed with the budget package if all 50 members of the caucuses support it.
“Did you want to get more? Yes, yes, the Democratic Caucus has 50 members,” Sanders said Wednesday.
Senator Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), Who oversees both the health care and tax parts of the bill as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he was working to create an agreement to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. He said he was. Reconciliation push.
“We are actively working to put together a prescription drug package that protects millions of Americans who believe they have been robbed in pharmacies,” he said. Weiden and many Senate Democrats want to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs, but it’s unclear if that will ensure unanimous Democratic support.
“Before making a decision, we first need to see what it says,” said Senator Robert Menendez when asked about allowing Medicare to negotiate as part of a budget package. New Jersey D.) said.
Weiden also said the plan would include a tax credit of approximately $ 270 billion for clean energy investments.
Democrats in both houses face many controversial decisions, including how to propose tax increases for wealthy Americans. The aide said the tax increase would not affect households and small businesses under $ 400,000.
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— Richard Rubin and Siobhan Hughes contributed to this article.
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