Biden announces “historic” deal – but there are still no measures | Choice Hq
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden said he and the Democrats in Congress had reached a “historic” framework for his comprehensive domestic policy package. But he still has to block the votes of important colleagues for a now dramatically reduced bill.
Eager to have a deal in hand before leaving for global summits late Thursday, Biden made his case privately on Capitol Hill in front of House Democrats and publicly in a speech at the White House. He is now pushing for a still robust package – $ 1.75 trillion in social services and climate protection programs – that the White House believes it can pass the 50-50 Senate.
Fast-paced developments bring Democrats closer to a hard-won deal, but fighting remains as they push to finalize the final draft in the coming days and weeks.
“Let’s do that,” Biden admonished.
“It will fundamentally change the lives of millions of people for the better,” he said of the package he desperately wanted before the peaks to show the world that American democracy is still working.
Along with a bipartisan infrastructure bill of nearly $ 1 trillion, Biden claimed the infusion of federal investment was a domestic achievement modeled on that of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
“I need your votes,” Biden told the Capitol legislature, according to a person who requested anonymity to discuss the private remarks.
But the final votes will not take place for some time. The revised package has lost some top priorities, frustrating many lawmakers as the president’s ambitions give way to the political realities of the narrowly divided Congress.
Paid family vacation and efforts to cut prescription drug prices are now completely out of the package, causing outrage from some lawmakers and supporters.
Still mixed in, a long list of other priorities: free pre-kindergarten for all teens, expanded health programs – including the introduction of a new $ 35 billion hearing aid benefit for people on Medicare – and $ 555 billion to combat climate change .
There is also a one-year extension of a childcare tax credit introduced during the COVID-19 rescue and new childcare allowances. An additional $ 100 billion to strengthen the immigration and border handling system could bring the total package to $ 1.85 trillion if Senate rules are clarified.
A decisive democratic objector, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, said, “I look forward to doing this.”
However another one Joe Manchin from West VirginiaHe was less binding: “It’s all in the hands of the house now.”
The two Democrats have almost single-handedly reduced their party’s grand vision and are critical to closing the deal.
Republicans remain overwhelmingly against, forcing Biden to rely on a slim majority of Democrats in Congress as there are no votes in the Senate and few in the House of Representatives.
After months of negotiation, Biden’s emerging bill took shape and would still be one of the most comprehensive of its kind in a generation, modeled on the New Deal and Great Society programs. The White House calls it the biggest investment in climate change and the biggest health care improvement in the country in more than a decade.
In his meeting with lawmakers at the Capitol, Biden made it clear the importance of showing progress on the way to the summits.
“We are at a turning point,” he said. “The rest of the world is wondering if we can work.”
In light of the upcoming US election, he said it was “not an exaggeration to say that House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined by what happens next week. “
Biden “asked for a spirited, enthusiastic vote on his plan,” said Rep Richard Neal, D-Mass.
Twice during the hour-long meeting, Democratic lawmakers rose and shouted, “Vote, vote, vote,” said Virginia Rep. Gerald Connolly.
Biden’s proposal would be paid for by introducing a new 5% surcharge on incomes over $ 10 million per year and introducing a new minimum corporate tax of 15% to match his plans not to impose new taxes on those who are less earning than $ 400,000 a year, officials named. A special one Billionaires Tax was not included.
Revenue to pay for the package would also come from the reversal of some of the Trump administration’s tax cuts in 2017, as well as increased enforcement of tax evaders by the IRS. Biden has vowed to cover the full cost of the plan to ensure it doesn’t add to the debt burden.
With the framework being converted into 1,600-page legislative text for review, lawmakers and aides warned that it has not yet been agreed.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., The progressive leader, said her group supported the framework even as progressive lawmakers worked to delay further action. “We want to see the actual text because we don’t want confusion and misunderstanding,” she said.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Biden had asked the House of Representatives to vote on the related $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill, which the Senate had already approved but was embroiled in deliberations on the broader bill. But Jayapal said she hadn’t heard an urgent request from him, encouraging the progressives to stop the hoped-for vote on Thursday.
“When the president gets off the plane, we want him to get a vote of confidence from this Congress,” Pelosi told lawmakers, the person said at the private session.
But no votes were planned. Progressives have withheld their support for the Roads and Bridges Act as leverage until they have a promise that Manchin, Sinema, and the other senators are ready to vote on Biden’s larger package.
“Damn no,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., About the approval of the minor infrastructure bill.
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Shared her own story of making “pennies” on low-wage work, striving to provide childcare and making sure voters are better off.
“We need both bills to drive together. And we don’t have that at the moment, ”said Bush. “I feel a little confused because I didn’t think this was coming today.”
Instead, Congress approved an extension of Sunday’s deadline for routine transportation that could expire without the Infrastructure Act to December 3.
The two denying Democratic senators now have tremendous power and are essentially deciding whether Biden will be able to deliver on the Democrats’ key election promises.
Sinema was instrumental in dissuading her party from its promise to reverse the 2017 Republican tax cuts. And Manchin’s opposition forced serious cuts to a clean energy plan, the abolition of paid family vacations, and the imposition of work obligations on parents receiving the new childcare allowance.
At the same time, Progressives achieved a major priority – Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders’ proposal to provide hearing aid benefits to Medicare patients. However, his ideas of including dental and eye care were neglected.
Other advanced health programs build on the Affordable Care Act by funding grants to help people purchase insurance policies and coverage in states that have turned down the Obamacare program.
Overall, the new package will continue to create political battles for years to come. The improved childcare tax credit expires in parallel with next year’s mid-term elections, while much of the healthcare funding expires in 2025, ensuring a campaigning issue before the next presidential election.
Contributors to this report were associate press writers Zeke Miller in Rome and Colleen Long, Kevin Freking, Alan Fram and Padmananda Rama in Washington.