Families with small children get free pre-kindergarten and child support. Medicare seniors can get hearing aids and dental care. Every state needs to improve its infrastructure.
The $3.5 trillion government-restructuring plan by President Joe Biden is complex and it’s going through a turbulent time. Republicans being opposed, Democrats rush to reduce the amount and complete the package. This huge undertaking will have repercussions that will shape Biden’s presidency as well as their political future.
A landmark achievement would be success. A career could be ended if you fail.
This is all happening as deadlines are set for this week to either pay for government operations or allow more borrowing. However, these dire scenarios seem unlikely.
Biden said Monday that he was a “born optimist” and rolled up his sleeves for a COVID-19 booster shot. “We’re going to get it done.”
What’s at stake “Victory is what is at stake.”
Although there are a few votes being arranged in the House and Senate respectively, the real action takes place behind closed doors. Biden personally calls lawmakers to try and resolve differences and move his expansive domestic policy vision forward.
He stated Monday that he planned to continue talks about possible steps forward Tuesday evening.
Biden added the long list of tasks to be accomplished and said, “If we do this, the country will be in great shape.”
Biden and his Democratic colleagues in Congress want a once-in a generation reworking the nation’s balance sheet. They ask corporations and the wealthy for more taxes, and then invest that money back into federal programs to benefit Americans young and old.
Biden seeks major spending to address climate change, education, and health care. This is in addition to a bipartisan $1 trillion public works package. He claims that the total cost of the bill is “zero” and will be covered by an expected increase in tax revenue.
Republicans argue that it is real spending that cannot be afforded. This is a reflection on the Democrats’ desire to insert government in people’s lives.
The bill is too large for key Democrats, whose votes are required in the face GOP opposition. To win votes, Democratic leaders are working tirelessly to reduce the $3.5 trillion proposed.
Thursday is a new deadline, because Congress must also pass legislation to continue routine government operations past the fiscal yearend. This includes transportation programs renewals in the public works bill.
“Let’s just say, it was an eventful week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated Sunday on ABC.
The Senate also set a test vote to be held late Monday in order to fund the government and avoid a default on federal debt before the fiscal year’s end. The Republican senators blocked the measure, meaning lawmakers would have to retry it later in the week.
After Pelosi delayed Monday’s vote on the public works bill, Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gained some breathing space.
Now, the Senate is the most difficult to act, with Democrats under pressure to vote for Biden’s larger, $3.5 trillion package.
Sens. Senators. Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Kyrsten Silema from Arizona have both said that they wouldn’t support such a large bill. Manchin previously suggested spending between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion.
All Republicans opposed, Democratic leaders cannot spare one vote in the 50-50 Senate. They rely on Vice President Kamala Harris for breaking a tie to pass any eventual package.
Biden proposes that be paidfor through an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 26.5% for businesses earning over $5 million per year and raising the top rate for individuals from 37% – 39.6% for those who earn more than $400,000 per year. This would also raise the rate for couples to $450,000.
Pelosi stated Sunday that it seemed “simple” that the price tag would be reduced to address the concerns of the remaining lawmakers.
She said, “We’ll watch how the number goes down and what we require.” “I believe even those who want to see a smaller number support the vision of President Obama, and this is truly transformative.”
Her comments were a reflection of the huge stakes for next week, which could determine the Biden presidency’s direction and the political contours of next years’ midterm elections.
The Democrats are short of votes in the House to support Biden’s huge agenda. Despite some Republican senators backing the $1 trillion public works bill (which was supported by some Republicans), now House Republicans oppose it, saying that it is too expensive.
Progressives claim they have made enough concessions on Biden’s bill. They are now down from the $6 trillion bill they had originally planned, but some progressives also recognize the potential for more changes.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who is the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus didn’t rule any additional cuts to the $3.5 billion proposal to reach an agreement.
She said, “If someone wants to take out something, we need to know what that is.”
On Saturday, the House Budget Committee approved a first version, with a 10-year term, of the $3.5 trillion bill. However, one Democrat voted “no,” illustrating how difficult it is for party leaders to do so.
The bill covers the core of Biden’s domestic goals. It includes billions to rebuild infrastructure, tackle climate change, and expand or introduce a variety of services. These include free prekindergarten and child tax relief, as well as dental, vision, and hearing aid care for seniors.
Although Democrats generally agree on Biden’s vision, many Democrats ran their campaigns on long-held party priorities, there are still some disputes. There are still disagreements about which initiatives should be reshaped. These include how to push for cleaner energy and lower prescription drug prices.