Top House Democrats admit likely $ 3.5 trillion cut to Biden’s spending bill
By David Lawder and Chris Prentice
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior Democrats said on Sunday they will likely have to cut President Joe Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion social spending bill, while passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill could overtake the September 27 deadline.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could also delay sending the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure measure after the House went to the White House for Biden’s signing until the project bigger spending bill be passed, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth told “Fox News Sunday” – a move to ensure Democrats support the bill.
Their comments illustrate the difficult path Democrats face in adopting Biden’s broad platform with very slim majorities and staunch Republican opposition. Spirits are sharp within the Democratic caucus, with moderate and progressive wings of the party sharply divided on the scale of spending.
Democrats also face looming October deadlines to fund the government and raise the federal debt ceiling. Failures on either side could hurt the economy and hurt the party’s position with voters.
Asked how much the tax hike and the spending bill for child care, education and green energy are rising, Yarmuth said he expects the figure on the bill “to rise. is just under $ 3.5 trillion “.
Rep. James Clyburn, the Third House Democrat, told CNN the number could be lower.
“So it might be $ 3.5 billion, it might be very close to that or maybe closer to something else. So I think we should really focus on the American people to think about. whatever it takes to put us in a good position and then let the numbers take care of themselves, ”Clyburn said on“ State of the Union ”.
Democrats aim to push through the massive spending plan without Republicans’ backing under budget reconciliation rules and cannot afford to lose any Democratic Senate votes and just three House votes.
Moderate Senate Democrats, including Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, say $ 3.5 trillion is too much; Manchin suggests spending less than half of that. Meanwhile, some progressive Democrats in the House say they cannot support a bill with lower spending levels aimed at strengthening the middle class.
Clyburn said “it’s going to take work” to bring Democrats together to support a bill, but added “I believe in our party and our leadership.”
The $ 3.5 trillion spending program https://www.reuters.com/world/us/paid-leave-clean-energy-preschool-democrats-35-trln-plan-2021-08-09 aims to supporting American families with a free college community, universal preschool, an extended children’s tax credit and investments in clean energy. But this is also accompanied by significant tax increases proposed https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-biden-infrastructure-taxes/factbox-key-elements-of-us-house-democrats-tax- hike-plans-to -fund-biden-spending-idUSKBN2G922S on the rich and the corporate.
Pelosi has sought to delay the House’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill as leverage to ensure moderate Democrats support the social spending bill. But House Democrats have set a September 27 deadline for passing the infrastructure bill as part of a budget resolution and the larger spending bill is not yet ready for the vote.
Yarmuth said the infrastructure bill could still pass, but the leverage could be preserved if Pelosi withholds it from Biden’s office and promulgates it.
He said it can be done under legislative rules. “She can keep this bill for a while. So there is some flexibility in how we link the two mandates.”
Yarmuth said the September 27 deadline would likely be missed, passing the rolling infrastructure bill “early in October would be my best guess.”
Yarmuth said he would also advocate incorporating an increase in the debt ceiling into a normal lending measure or reconciliation plan, but “I don’t think that decision has been made yet. We have several options to raise. the debt ceiling, which is absolutely mandatory. “
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has said his party will not support an increase in the debt ceiling, even though the Treasury has warned it will deplete cash and borrowing capacity in October, leaving the US government unable to pay all of its obligations.
(Reporting by David Lawder and Chris Prentice; Additional reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)