WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a consequent week for President Joe Biden’s agenda, as Democratic leaders back their $3.5 trillion tax and spending package to win over remaining lawmakers and rush legislation to avoid a federal shutdown. worked to pass.
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Biden’s domestic agenda hangs in the balance, threatening collapse and political collapse if he and Democratic leaders don’t pull his party together in what could be a signature piece of legislation and the biggest overhaul of government priorities in decades. It is possible. Over the weekend, Biden spoke personally with lawmakers on possible moves, according to a White House official, who requested anonymity, to discuss private talks.
An expected Monday vote on a related $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package has now been postponed until Thursday, amid ongoing talks. More immediately, the Senate has a test vote scheduled for Monday to keep the government funded and prevent a federal loan default before Thursday’s fiscal year deadline. The measure stands to be run into a blockade by Republican senators – ensuring lawmakers will have to try again later in the week.
“All I’ll say is this is an eventful week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Biden, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are deep in talks over the president’s sweeping proposal, which is being chiseled back to win over key senators and some House lawmakers who have so far denied the $3.5 trillion price tag and Taxes on corporations increase and the rich have to pay for it.
The behind-the-scenes conversations churned out, allowing necessary breathing room after Monday’s anticipated vote on partner postponed a $1 trillion public works measure. The two bills are intertwined, and centrist and progressive factions are prioritizing one over the other. Pelosi announced Thursday’s vote in a letter to aides late Thursday, noting that it is also a deadline for related transportation programs in the infrastructure bill.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DNJ, who led a group of House moderators in securing a vote on the slimmer infrastructure bill, said on Sunday he wouldn’t be bothered by a slight delay. He expected the two laws to be resolved this week.
More difficult action now lies in the Senate, as Democrats are under pressure to gather votes for Biden’s big package. It will provide an expansion of existing health, education and child care programs for young and older Americans, along with new federal efforts to halt climate change.
Republicans are opposing Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 to 26.5 percent on businesses earning more than $5 million a year, and 37 for those earning more than $5 million a year. raise the top rate on individuals to 39.6 percent. More than $400,000 per year, or over $450,000 for couples.
Two Democratic holdouts, West Virginia’s Sans Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kirsten Cinema, have also said they would not support a bill of that size. Munchkin previously proposed spending from $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion.
Asked on ABC on Sunday whether he agreed the final number on the so-called reconciliation bill would be “somewhat smaller” than the $3.5 trillion, Pelosi replied: “It seems self-evident.”
“We’ll see how the numbers go down and what we need,” she said. “I think even those who want lower numbers support the president’s approach, and it’s really transformative.”
His comments reflected the heavy stakes for the coming week, which could define the Biden presidency and shape the political framework for next year’s midterm elections.
For Pelosi and Schumer, two veteran political leaders, this is the work of their careers.
Democrats have only a few votes left in the House and 50-50 no votes in the Senate, as no Republican support for Biden’s larger agenda is expected. Some Republican senators backed the $1 trillion public works bill, but now House Republicans are objecting, saying it is too much.
While progressives say they have already reached substantial agreement on Biden’s big bill, coming down from a bill they originally envisioned at $6 trillion, some are acknowledging even more potential changes.
Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, did not rule out additional cuts in the $3.5 trillion proposal to reach agreement.
“If someone wants to take something, we have to hear what it is,” she said.
The House Budget Committee on Saturday pushed the first version of a $3.5 trillion, 10-year bill, though a Democrat voted “no,” describing the challenges facing party leaders.
Pelosi suggested a House-Senate agreement could be reached this week, depending on Senate lawmakers’ decisions on which provisions could be included.
The overall bill marks the root of Biden’s top household goals, which include rebuilding infrastructure, tackling climate change, and offering a range of services from free preschool and child tax breaks to dental, vision and hearing aid care for older Americans. Including expanding or beginning.
While Democrats largely agree on Biden’s approach – many have run their campaigns on long-party priorities – stubborn controversy remains. Among them are divisions about which initiatives should be reshaped, including how to move toward clean energy or lowering the cost of medicines.
Republicans say the proposal is not needed and cannot be afforded, given the accumulated federal debt of more than $28 trillion. He also argues that it reflects the Democrats’ campaign to put government in the lives of the people.
Gottheimer spoke to CNN’s “State of the Union” and Jayapal appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.