Biden to rally Senate Democrats after they attain $3.5 trillion funds deal

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United States President Joe Biden speaks about voting rights on July 13, 2021 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden will meet with the Senate Democratic Senate on Wednesday to endorse support for its far-reaching infrastructure and business investment goals, hours after lawmakers announced it had reached an agreement on a multi-trillion dollar budget decision Has.

That budget arrangement, which would spend $ 3.5 trillion over the next decade, will be added to the roughly $ 600 billion in new spending included in a bipartisan infrastructure plan, Democrats said Tuesday evening.

They said the budget plan was paid in full and would expand Medicare coverage for dental, visual and hearing services – two features that could help attract moderate and progressive Democrats to endorse it.

Over a closed door caucus lunch in the Capitol on Wednesday, Biden will assemble the Democrats and “lead us to this wonderful plan,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told DN.Y.

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted Wednesday morning that the president would “continue to advocate the duel-track approach to the economy by investing in infrastructure, protecting our climate and helping the next generation of workers and families better to rebuild ”.

She noted in a follow-up that she had misspelled the word “dual”.

Democratic leaders hope to get versions of the resolution through the House and Senate before lawmakers leave Washington for the August recess. However, they admitted on Tuesday evening that their work for them was canceled because the budget only provides a rough overview of the expenses that would have to be specified in subsequent laws.

“We know that we have a long way to go,” said Schumer.

“I have no illusions how challenging this will be,” said Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., Vice chairman of the caucus.

The resolution, if passed, would pave the way for Democrats to pass a later Senate spending bill through what is known as the budget reconciliation process. That means that the Democrats would only need a simple majority in the Senate – which is 50:50 50:50 with the Republicans – and not the 60 votes that the GOP could demand through the filibuster rules.

If all 50 Democrats in the Senate support such a law, they could pass it without Republican support, as Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris could cast the decisive vote.

Senate Democratic leaders are working to get both the moderates in the faction, who have expressed their discomfort about funding the mammoth spending plans, and the progressives, who have called for much more money to spend.

Senator Bernie Sanders, on whom Schumer charged charges of including expanded Medicare coverage in the budgetary decision, and other progressives had originally pushed for a budget of $ 6 trillion. Biden had suggested less than $ 5 trillion.

Moderate Senator Joe Manchin, DW.V., expressed a very different opinion on Tuesday, telling reporters, “I think everything should be paid for. We have spent enough free money. “

In a statement Wednesday morning, Manchin said he was looking forward to reviewing the Senate Budget Committee’s agreement.

“I’m also very interested in how this proposal is paid for and how we can use it to remain globally competitive,” he said. “I will reserve the right to make any final judgment until I have had the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the proposal.”

The budget will reportedly be in line with Biden’s promise not to impose taxes on anyone earning less than $ 400,000 a year.

Sanders said Tuesday night the legislation shows that “wealthy and large corporations will begin to pay their fair share of taxes so we can protect working families in this country.”