President Joe Biden’s original $3.5 trillion spending plan is now dead in the water. Now, he wants Democrats to get a deal done for a much lower budget tax and spending proposal. The new spending plan is now between $1.75 trillion and $1.9 trillion.
Biden Dealing With a Lower Spending Plan
The new spending plan budget is far less than what Biden really wanted at $3.5 trillion. Some Democrats do think that the amount can still allow them to accomplish many of the goals they set earlier.
An early proposal appeared as an attempt to bridge the gap between warring parties among Democrats. Progressives and moderates within the party remain at odds with the total spending plan.
As a result, the new package is much reduced from $3.5 trillion that reflects much of what progressives wanted. The original spending plan traces its root to progressive senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Now, the lower budget of$1.75 trillion is closer to what centrists such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) want instead. Manchin helped kill the original $3.5 trillion plan by objecting to a number of measures contained in the bill.
After fighting with Sanders over the weekend about the line items, the two are back at it again trying to establish the final number.
$1.9 Trillion Should Get White House Programs Going
The White House estimates that a package of $1,9 trillion can give them enough resources to accomplish their priority measures.
This includes the partial expansion of Medicare to offer new benefits to seniors. The modest budget can still cover funds for universal prekindergarten programs as well as climate change initiatives.
However, Democrats will witness many promised plans cut off and left lying on the roadside. Child tax credit payment will likely end earlier than expected.
Less money will become available for affordable housing programs. Finally, the pared-down budget can significantly reduce proposed paid leaves for workers. Instead of 12 weeks, leaves would not shrink to four weeks.
Many Questions Remain
Still, lawmakers warned that many of the White House’s proposals remain in limbo. There is much to do and negotiate between the Democratic members of both the House and the Senate.
Appeasing the progressives often ring alarm bells from moderates such as Manchin and Senator Krysten Sinema (AZ). Both were responsible for Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan to tank even before Republicans had a crack at it.
Also, Biden has yet to determine how to secure funding for his measures. Insisting that wealthier Americans pay more won’t go over well with the GOP lawmakers. In earlier statements, Biden promised that any spending plans will get paid in full.
Progressives Disappointed, But Hopeful
Liberal-leaning Democrats, while acknowledging the loss of a bigger budget, remained hopeful for their programs. They admitted that even with cuts, many of their priority programs in health care, education, and social spending look intact.
Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, remains optimistic. “All our priorities are there in some way, shape, or form,” she said. Many Democrats pledged to set aside intra-party differences to finalize Biden’s economic agenda.
Watch the CBS Mornings video reporting that Democrats struggle to reduce Biden's spending plan:
What do you think of the new, but lower-priced spending plans proposed by the Democrats? Do you think this has a chance of passing now?
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