Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Preparations for debate in the House, voting after strengthening Biden’s bill

WASHINGTON (NWN) – The House prepares to debate and vote on a revised draft of President Joe Biden’s now-$1.85 trillion domestic policy package As well as a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, Democrats are eager to show voters that the party can deliver on its priorities.

With a flurry of adjustments breaking out of late, Democrats added key provisions to the massive 2,135-page package — a new paid family leave program, adding back work permits for immigrants and changes to state and local tax deductions.

Votes are possible on Thursday, with Democrats eager to end the president’s signature package, after talks on Capitol Hill partly blamed the party’s disappointing election results in the Belvedere states this week.

“Bring it to my desk!” Biden said in remarks at the White House on Wednesday.

Late Wednesday, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that House votes are possible on Thursday on a slimmer bipartisan infrastructure package, along with a bigger bill for Biden’s social services and climate change programs, which stalled amid deliberations. Had gone. Voting, however, could extend till Friday, aides and lawmakers said.

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After months of talks, Democrats are desperate to turn a profit on Biden’s proposals after dire election results for the party in Virginia, a warning that his grip on power could be in jeopardy in the mid-term of next year.

Most Voters in Virginia Said Negotiations Ended His vote was a key factor on Biden’s governing agenda in Washington, so blame has been drifting on Capitol Hill as Democrats have spent months debating the details of the package.

“We have to produce,” Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told reporters at the Capitol. “We have to get results for the people.”

The House Rules Committee convened a hearing late Wednesday that lasted past midnight to consider the updated text – an important step ahead of what is expected to be a lengthy floor debate that could begin Thursday and extend through Friday. .

Democrats are working zealously to iron out their differences, particularly West Virginia’s censors. With Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kirsten Cinema, and launch votes on Biden’s big bill and related infrastructure package that has stalled.

The new family leave provision is expected to include four weeks of paid time off for the birth of a child, recovery from a major illness, or care for family members, less than the 12-week schedule once envisioned, all but one Fully paid for with revenue elsewhere.

Biden reluctantly dropped a scaled-back paid leave proposal from last week’s White House structure after Munchkin touted the price. But Democrats who lobbied for that paid leave, a party priority for decades, continued to push it.

Representative Richard Neill, D-Mass., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said it is “a policy that will ultimately give workers and their families peace of mind” in the face of difficulties.

On another remaining issue, Democrats partially settled on a plan to eliminate the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions that particularly affect New York, California and other high-tax states, and Trump -Yug was enacted as part of the 2017 tax. Plan.

While repeal of the so-called SALT deduction cap is a priority for many northeastern state lawmakers, progressives wanted to block the super-rich from benefits. Under the plan, the $10,000 deduction cap would be increased to $72,500 for 10 years, beginning with the $10,000 tax year.

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And a recently added immigration provision would create a new program for some 7 million immigrants who are in the country without legal status, allowing them to apply for a permit to work and travel in the US for five years. Will give It will also allow the government to allow people to tap unused visas to enter the US

Resolving the immigration issue was one of the last daunting challenges to complete the draft of Biden’s package. Biden had set aside $100 billion to fund immigration changes, raising the total package from $1.75 trillion to $1.85 trillion – though that provision could slip if accepted by the Senate. Lawmakers plan to make their case to a Senate lawmaker in the coming days, hoping the changes will be required under Senate rules, the people involved said.

“We have to do something for our immigrants,” said Rep. Judy Choo, D-California.

Paid family leave and changes to immigration law have both drawn resistance from Munchkin, whose support is significant in the 50-50 Senate, where Biden has no vote. The overall bill is facing united opposition from Republicans.

Munchkin wants Democrats to take more time in the negotiations, and has held off on the paid-holiday announcement.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s strategy now seems intent on passing the strongest bill in her chamber and then leaving the Senate to accommodate or isolate the parts she would not agree to.

“We must strive to find common ground in the law,” Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues.

Biden’s $1.75 trillion package will provide assistance to a large number of Americans with access to health care, education, raising children and caring for the elderly in their homes. It would provide some $555 billion in tax breaks encouraging clean energy and electrified vehicles, the nation’s biggest commitment to combat climate change.

Most of its costs will be covered with higher taxes on people and large corporations earning more than $10 million a year, which will now face a 15% minimum tax in an effort to prevent large businesses from claiming such deductions that they Pay zero in taxes.

Earlier in the week, Democrats announced another major addition to the package — a plan to reduce prescription drug costs for most older people, out-of-pocket Medicare Part D costs at $2,000 and insulin. reducing the price of no more than $ 35. one dose.

D-Texas Representative Colin Allred said the party’s internal debate is not only detrimental to public opinion, but “in terms of showing that our democracy is working.” “We have to show that we can govern,” he said on Wednesday.

Some moderate Democrats in the House said they would like to see a financial evaluation of Biden’s overall package from the Congressional Budget Office before taking the vote.

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Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Alan Fram and Colleen Long contributed to this report.

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