Compromises to save his economic plans
- Biden told progressives to lower the price of the party’s reconciliation bill.
- Representative Henry Cuellar told reporters the president expects a price of between $ 1.9 billion and $ 2 trillion.
- Biden also endorsed progressive calls to lobby together for infrastructure and social spending.
President Joe Biden has suggested a $ 2 trillion price tag for a social spending plan that contains the bulk of his economic agenda, trying to negotiate a compromise between the party’s warring factions and cross the finish line to his program with very slim Democratic majorities.
Biden told Progressive Democrats on Friday they had to lower their expectations for the price of the party’s highly controversial spending bill. But he also endorsed their demands for a two-track strategy to approve an infrastructure bill and social spending plans in tandem.
The president pushed his fellow Democrats to support a total cost of between $ 1.9 trillion and $ 2.3 trillion on the spending program that was once expected to cost $ 3.5 trillion, according to Politics.
Representative Henry Cuellar from Texas said journalists Biden said the final figure for reconciliation is likely to be $ 2 trillion. Cuellar also said the president “basically tied” the fate of the packages to each other.
Following a separate Congressional Progressive Caucus meeting, Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland hinted at what a final deal could entail, telling reporters he remained “excited” by the offer of universal child care, extending the child tax credit and reducing tuition fees at community colleges.
âMaybe everything can’t be funded for 10 years, maybe it will be a shorter period,â Raskin said. “But at least we can develop these programs and engage with the American people.”
Biden’s visit reflects a final push to put progressives and moderates on the same page after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi voted on her bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday night in the face of a rebellion progressive. They demand the adoption of a broader social spending plan to tackle the climate emergency, ensuring affordable childcare and a tuition-free community college first before erasing the package. traditional infrastructure.
But internal squabbles within the party this week have stalled much of Biden’s economic agenda. Biden told lawmakers at Friday’s meeting that the infrastructure bill “won’t happen until we reach agreement on the next bill,” Politico reported.
The president reportedly pointed out that even a bill that costs less than $ 3.5 trillion “can make historic investments.”
Pelosi played big earlier this week, telling caucus the infrastructure bill had to pass even though the overall spending was far from Senate approval. She said Democrats had to make “tough choices” as there was still no agreement on a smaller final price for the larger anti-poverty bill.
The California lawmaker’s plan sparked a gradual revolt that put Biden’s economic agenda in jeopardy. Without reconciliation on the spending bill, Progressive Democrats have vowed to defeat the infrastructure bill.
Party leaders hope to cement the deal at $ 2.1 trillion, but Representative Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, confirmed Thursday that he would not vote for a bill that costs more than $ 1.5 trillion.
Still, Biden insists Democrats can unite around the two measures to revamp the country’s physical infrastructure and strengthen the social safety net. “It doesn’t matter if it’s six minutes, six days, or six weeks,” Biden told reporters. “We are going to do it.”