President Biden to discuss Pennsylvania's scaled-back $2 trillion spending plan, highlighting the administration'' sloppiness
President Joe Biden is visiting his hometown of WASHINGTON on Wednesday to discuss the middle class benefits of his $2 trillion domestic agenda package, which is now scaled back, but still a landmark attempt to expand social services for millions as well as combat the rising threat of climate change.
Its where my values of hard work and treating others with dignity were established, the president tweeted. Those values are at the heart of my agenda, she said.
After a month of trying to reconcile Biden's once-sweeping $3.5 trillion vision preferred by progressives with fewer restrictions that may win over party-centres, his Democratic Party and his political allies are racing to secure agreement on the legislative package. He has no Democratic votes to spare for passage in the tightly divided Congress, and the Democrats want agreement by weeks end.
In the mix: at least $500 billion to combat climate change, $350 billion for child care subsidies and free pre-kindergarten, a federal program for at most four weeks of paid family leave, an one-year extension of the $300 monthly child tax credit created during the COVID-19 crisis, and funding for health care provided through the Affordable Care Act and Medicare.
Plans for tuition-free community college, a pathway to permanent legal status for certain immigrants in the United States, and shaved back all of which are likely to be eliminated or scrapped: if Biden failed to pursue 'clean energy', the centerpiece of his climate change campaign.
Nothing is decided until everything is determined, said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus after a morning meeting of House Democrats. "Were just trying to get it done."
The Democrats appear to be tempted to drop what had been a bigger package in favor of skepticism about pursuing broader, more workable proposal that will be funded by tax increases on corporations and the wealthiest individuals, those earning more than $400,000 yearly.
Heres the deal: If you spent $3 on your coffee this morning, thatll be more than 55 major corporations paid in taxes in recent years, Biden tweeted. Its wrong and itll have to change.
Yet, a day after Biden presented his proposals for cutting back on certain elements to lawmakers, it was clear that the effort was still advancing as several Democrats said they were still fighting for their priorities.
Democrats are becoming increasingly concerned that despite their campaign promises, they have nothing to show voters, and they've had difficulty explaining what they're doing with the huge package, which is made up of so many different proposals.
In reducing the measure, they are heeding the political realities of the 50-50 Senate, where Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have criticized Biden's expansive ambitions.
The Democrats are also trying to reconcile around a politically marketable theme: helping middle-income families deal with the COVID-19 economic consequence while also taking on tax code inequity and the looming threat of climate change.
As a press release from Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, stated, it's incredibly difficult to answer the question "What''S in the damn bill?"
Biden felt "more confident", press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement late Tuesday after his meetings with lawmakers that lasted into the evening.
There was a general consensus that moving forward in the next few days is essential and that the window for finalizing a package is closing, she added.
The president wants to strengthen federal social services and address climate change by the time he departs for a global climate summit next week.
Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a progressive caucus member, said, He really believes that American leadership, American prestige is on the line.
Manchin, a key opponent of Biden's proposals, has stated that he opposes the president'' initial Clean Energy Performance Plan, which would see the government punish electric utilities that fail to adhere to clean energy benchmarks and pay financial incentives to those who do.
Instead, Biden is focusing on providing at least $500 billion in tax credits, grants, and loans to combat climate change, with a large part of it likely to include tax breaks for energy producers who meet emission-reduction goals.
To preserve Bidens initial victory, Democrats are moving to keep many of the programs but reduce their duration to reduce costs. On other fronts, to avoid Bidon s first victory over Bipartisanship, they are also considering reducing their length.
Instead of allowing it to expire in December, Biden wants to extend the $300 monthly child tax credit that was established during the COVID-19 crisis for another year.
The scheme has been praised for sending cash to families most in need. Democrats wanted to extend the credit for additional years, but limiting the duration would help lower the cost.
What had been intended to be a months-long federal paid family leave program could now be reduced to as little as four weeks attempting to at least start the program rather than eliminate it.
Biden also wants to ensure that health care programs are adequately funded, such as new money for home- and community-based health services, thereby facilitating a move away from widespread nursing home care.
And a Sanders-style program to provide dental, vision, and hearing aid benefits to Medicare beneficiaries is likely to continue in some way.
Biden told lawmakers that $300 billion would be left after his top priorities.
That may lower the overall cost or be used for other initiatives.
Kevin Freking, Darlene Superville, Alexandra Jaffe, and Farnoush Amiri were part of this report.