President Joe Biden unveiled a new framework Thursday for a comprehensive social safety net package that includes money for child care and climate change, beginning an uphill struggle to convince wary lawmakers who have watched their priorities dwindle from the package.
“We are at an inflection point,” Biden told House Democrats Thursday in a closed-door meeting. “The rest of the world is wondering if we can work.”
If Biden passes that proposal and his $550 billion infrastructure plan, Congress will have enacted $5 trillion in spending in the 10 months since taking office — a historic level of new domestic spending.
“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that majorities in the House and Senate and my presidency will be determined by what happens next week,” Biden told Democrats, according to the source.
Biden traveled to Capitol Hill Thursday morning to make an appeal to House Democrats and present the package’s parameters. He is then expected to deliver remarks at the White House in the late morning and is scheduled to depart on his trip to Europe in the middle of the afternoon.
The latest bid is up to $1.75 trillion. They include priorities such as climate change financing, child care and inclusive preschool. It is relying on new taxes, including taxes aimed at millionaires and billionaires. But it ignores a lot of Democratic priorities, like paid family leave and free community college.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told Democrats after Biden’s departure that the president “was a better friend to House Democrats than any other president,” according to the source.
Pelosi asked her caucus to vote on a Senate-passed $550 billion infrastructure bill Thursday before Biden landed in Rome. This bill was frozen in the House because progressives hoped to use it as leverage to force moderate senators to support the larger spending package.
“When the president gets off that plane, we want him to get a vote of confidence from this Congress,” Pelosi said, according to the source.
Top administration officials said the measure would total about $1.75 trillion in funding, which they called “the most transformative investment in childcare in generations, the largest anti-climate effort in history, and a historic tax cut for tens of millions of middle-income people.” families and the largest expansion of affordable healthcare in decades.”
The latest release does not appear to include funding for paid family leave, a piece that has been a priority for many Democrats, including many women legislators.
White House officials said the measure will be paid in full with new taxes and reduce the deficit by generating about $2 trillion in revenue through a combination of changes to the tax system. Officials emphasized that no one would have their taxes raised below $400,000.
The measure would provide six years of universal free custody for all 3- to 4-year-olds, extend the child tax credit originally implemented by an earlier coronavirus rescue package, and reduce premiums by an average of $600 per year. Officials said more than 9 million Americans buy insurance through the Obamacare marketplace.
Notably, officials said that in addition to closing the Medicaid coverage gap, the framework will expand Medicare coverage to include hearing services. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. , is pushing for Medicare to expand to cover vision and dental services as well.
They said the legislation also aims to begin reducing climate pollution and setting the United States on a path to reduce emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030. It will provide clean energy tax credits and an electric vehicle tax credit that will lower the cost of an electric vehicle, they said. Up to $12,500 per middle-class family.
Biden heads to Europe later on Thursday, where he will meet with other world leaders in Scotland to discuss climate, giving him an item on his agenda to promote.
Officials said the bill would make “the largest and most comprehensive individual investment in the history of affordable housing,” expand the earned-income tax credit for 17 million low-wage workers and provide funding for historic black colleges and universities.
While the bill does not provide for a pathway to citizenship, officials said it would allocate $100 billion to reduce the immigration backlog and expand legal representation.
To pay the bill, officials said the framework would raise taxes on high-income Americans by introducing an additional tax on the incomes of millionaires and billionaires, adding that it would also invest in the IRS to ensure wealthy Americans pay taxes. They owe.
They also said the legislation would impose a minimum tax of 15 per cent on corporate profits reporting to large companies with more than one billion in profits to their shareholders and a 1 per cent tax on share buybacks. To penalize companies that ship their profits abroad, the bill imposes a minimum tax of 50 percent on foreign profits of US corporations.
Regarding the proposals that were scrapped, officials said they were unable to agree on terms that would give Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices for Americans.
NBC News reported on Wednesday that Democrats dropped a proposal for paid family leave and medical leave from the spending package after Senator Joe Manchin, Deutsche Welle, voiced opposition. Biden originally proposed a 12-week paid vacation, then last week it was reduced to four weeks before it was scrapped altogether.
‘willing to do so’
White House officials Thursday morning expressed confidence that the framework would have the support of all 50 senators in the Democratic caucus and pass the House of Representatives. But it may not be that simple.
Members of the Progressive Caucus in Congress have been at odds throughout conversations with two moderate senators who have thrown many barricades, Manchin and Kirsten Sinema of Arizona.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-W., co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters after meeting Biden that while he delivered a “persuasive speech” to both the infrastructure bill and economic action, she said many members of her caucus still feel they want to see a legislative text. And they want to vote on both bills.
Similarly, Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, said Thursday that there are concerns that Cinema or Mansion may not follow through on the framework. She said the group’s position remains that the Senate must pass the bill first before they agree to support the infrastructure bill.
“There is definitely a trust issue,” Omar told NBC News. “I mean, people who constantly change positions cannot be trusted. So we should actually have legislation to vote on in order to trust that this legislation will be the final bill.”
Sanders told progressive members that he supported their demand for a legislative text before they agreed to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, according to two of his aides. “There is no legislative text, no [Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan]One of the assistants said is their attitude.
He told reporters Thursday, “There are a number of concerns, paid family medical leave is also a concern. I’m glad we were able to get hearing aids.”
However, the Senate majority, Webb Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said he was not confident that all 50 senators in the Democratic caucus are in favor of the president’s deal.
“I wish I could say yes, but there is a great deal of uncertainty within the party bloc about what the deal includes,” Durbin said. “I will tell you that there is a will to do so.”