The Democrats appeared ready to abandon the $ 3.5 trillion high-priced package for smaller, more viable proposals that could unite the party.
Washington — On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said Democrats in a $ 2 trillion government reform package to curtail his “better buildback” plan and address climate change and middle-class priorities. Explained a more limited vision for Congressmen — Child tax deduction, Paid family vacation, health care, free pre-kindergarten.
And he hopes the negotiations will end soon this week.
Democrats appeared ready to abandon the $ 3.5 trillion high-priced package for smaller, more viable proposals that could unite the party and win tightly divided passages. So, in the evening, the president personally met with nearly 20 centrists and progressive lawmakers in separate groups.
It can be eliminated or significantly reduced. A tuition-free community college plan, the path to legal status of immigrants in the United States without writing, and a particular clean energy plan that was central to Biden’s strategy to combat climate change.
Details were shared by people familiar with the conversation and anonymity was given to discuss private meetings.
Biden felt “more confident” after the day of the meeting, spokesman Jen Psaki said. “There was an urgent need to move forward in the next few days, and there was widespread agreement that the window to complete the package was closed,” she said.
After months of adaptation and launch, Democrats are beginning to worry that despite the promise of the campaign, they rarely show it to voters. All of Biden’s ideas are to be funded by tax increases for businesses and the wealthiest individuals, who earn more than $ 400,000 a year.
In particular, the President wants to advance his signed domestic package to strengthen federal social services and address climate change by the time he departs for next week’s Global Climate Summit.
Democrat Ro Khanna, a member of the progressive Caucus, said he urged Biden to “do something right now” to show US leadership in climate change on the world stage.
“He really believes in American leadership. American fame is at a loss,” Kanna said.
Conservative Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Coal, a key supporter of Biden’s proposal, has revealed his opposition to the president’s first clean energy performance program. In line with Biden’s goal of achieving 80% “clean electricity” by 2030, we will provide financial rewards to those who do so.
Instead, Biden focused on providing at least $ 500 billion in tax credits, grants and loans to combat climate change at its meeting on Tuesday. Finance Commission. This includes tax cuts for energy producers who have achieved their emission reduction targets.
That clean energy approach is better in line with Manchin’s stated goal of maintaining a “fuel-neutral” approach to federal policy that does not prioritize renewable energy sources over coal and natural gas, which dominate his state. There is a possibility.
Other climate change proposals under consideration are taxes on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels such as oil and coal, or methane emission charges.
Not addressing climate change will have widespread consequences in the United States and abroad. Inaction can cost billions of dollars in weather-related disasters and eradicate millions of Americans in hurricanes, wildfires, droughts and floods, according to supporters of big efforts. is.
Another progressive Caucus member, Congressman Mark Pokan, called Manchin’s opposition to climate issues “one of the biggest challenges” and threatened to block the final bill.
On the other side, Biden and Democrats seemed to merge more easily around the slimmed-down package.
Biden wants to extend the $ 300 monthly child tax credit introduced during the COVID-19 crisis for another year instead of expiring it in December.
This policy is praised for sending cash to the most deprived families. Democrats want to extend their credits for a few more years, but limiting the time period can reduce costs. Currently, it will be phased out in single-parent families with an annual income of $ 75,000 and more than $ 150,000 for couples, but lower these income thresholds to meet the demands of Manchin and more conservative Democrats. can do.
What was supposed to be a one-month federal paid family vacation program could be reduced to just four weeks.
Biden also wants to secure funding for healthcare programs, including new funding for home and community-based healthcare services, to support the transition from a wide range of nursing home care.
Also, Vermont’s independent Senator Bernie Sanders’ new program, which offers the elderly of Medicare the benefits of dentistry, vision, and hearing aids, is likely to remain somehow, Sanders’ longtime ally. Said Kanna.
New grants to help families raise their children and increased grants for those who buy their own health insurance during the pandemic are still expected to be included in the package. ..
Biden told lawmakers that $ 300 billion would remain after his top priority. Some have suggested that it may be used for housing aid and racial justice issues. Biden also said money could be spent on refurbishing low-income homes.
But Biden’s vision for a free community college for everyone is at a loss.
“It’s not the powerful vision the president wants, or we want,” Kanna said.
At a long, “lively” luncheon for Democrats earlier that day, Senator Chuck Schumer said, “The room needs to reach an agreement and get it done. There was a universal agreement. “
Schumer said Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are speaking daily.
Biden met at the White House for nearly two hours and met the first group of parliamentarians, the Progressivists. Moderate lawmakers met in the evening for about 90 minutes.
“Everyone is talking,” said Manchin, who met the president on Tuesday.
For months, Arizona’s Manchin and Democratic Senator Kyrsten Cinema have opposed the scope and size of Biden’s package and saw a generational opportunity to rebuild the government’s program. I tested my patience. Cinema missed Senator’s lunch, but held a separate meeting with Biden.
The Republicans are completely opposed to Biden’s plans, so the president needs to pass all Democrats split 50-50 in the Senate and can only vote a few votes in the House of Representatives.
Over time, Congress has set a passing deadline of 31 October.
Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Darlene Superville, Alexandra Jaffe, and Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.
New $ 2T Biden Budget: Child Tax Credit, Paid Family Vacation
Source link New $ 2T Biden Budget: Child Tax Credit, Paid Family Vacation