Politics Bipartisan gripes as House Ag set to continue debate on spending package
WHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill
House Democratic leaders are vowing to follow through with a pledge to moderate lawmakers to vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill by Sept. 27 - but they risk going to the floor without enough votes to pass it on that date.Progressives insist that they won't hesitate to vote down the bipartisan bill if the larger, Democratic-only $3.5 trillion package to expand social safety net programs and other top liberal priorities isn't done yet. They say more than half of the 96-member Congressional Progressive Caucus will vote against the bill next week if their demands aren't met.
The House Agriculture Committee will vote next week on its piece of the $3.5 trillion, after wrapping up debate on some 30 amendments late Friday night.
Key context: During a contentious nine-hour markup, Republicans offered dozens of amendments ranging from food assistance and work requirements to revoking funds for the Civilian Climate Corps, a Biden administration proposal to enlist young Americans in the fight against climate change. But Democrats appeared set to reject each of the proposals when the committee reconvenes next week for votes.
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A group of House moderates is threatening to blow up Democrats’ plans of passing a $3.5 trillion budget resolution when the chamber is set to return August 23. House Democrats intended to vote on the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint in late August after the Senate approved the measure this week. The budget blueprint allows both the House and the Senate to craft a reconciliation bill, filled with progressive priorities, that can be passed with a simple majority and without Republican support.
The legislation includes billions of dollars for forestry, climate research, rural development and other programs that are generally popular on both sides of the aisle. But key provisions related to conservation and farm debt relief wereas negotiations continue behind the scenes.
Chair(D-Ga.) said that an additional $28 billion to boost conservation programs and climate-friendly farming would be added when the reconciliation bill goes to the House floor.
“We’re in a process where we’ve got both the Senate and the House moving ahead on this, so we’re not dealing in concrete just yet,” Scott said.
That was a point of frustration for members in both parties. Republicans also decried the lack of information on potential tax increases that would accompany the massive spending plan.
Business groups are fighting Biden's $3.5T budget over taxes, drug negotiations
Major business groups oppose raising corporate taxes to pay for the bill while some industries have come out against specific parts of proposal.Advocacy groups are drawing battle lines in opposition to parts of the bill aiming to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals, lower prices on prescription drugs and combat climate change. The fights that could trim or threaten to kill the legislation will play out in the coming days and weeks as committees rush to meet a Wednesday deadline for drafting legislation.
“We’re debating an incomplete bill, with unknown implications for every single person that we each represent,” said ranking member(R-Pa.).
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Rep.(D-Va.), who chairs the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee, said the markup should have been delayed until the legislation was complete.
“I have significant concerns about the fact that we are proceeding with this markup without the $28 billion detailed related to conservation spending,” Spanberger said. “I would like to see the committee have the opportunity to actually vote on them and go through the markup process.”
However, Democrats blocked a GOP motion to postpone the markup on a 26-24 vote.
Tax concerns: Republicans on the committee also blasted President Joe Biden’s proposal to eliminate a longstanding tax break for valuable property passed down to descendants when the owner dies, a move they say would hurt family farms and small businesses.
A play for critical momentum on Biden's agenda at a moment when there is none
The White House and Democratic congressional leaders have announced a deal on a framework of a "menu of options" to finance an agreement that doesn't currently exist on a package that doesn't currently have a topline spending number that would require those financing options. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: (L-R) U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S.
Several Democrats echoed their concerns about eliminating the “stepped-up basis” for such transactions. Scott noted that the tax change was not included in the agriculture section of the reconciliation package.
“I want you to know that it is not in this bill, and it is my hope that it will not be in the final one as well,” Scott said. “It would be devastating.”
The Biden administration has promised that families who continue operating the inherited farm or business would not be affected by the change unless they decide to sell, and even then, up to $2.5 million in capital gains would be exempt from taxes.
Still, Thompson called it the “elephant in the room” and claimed that farmers are “terrified, as they should be.”
What’s next: The panel hasn’t yet scheduled a time to reconvene for votes, but Scott said it would likely be early next week.
Biden goes all in to try to defuse Democrat-on-Democrat war with his agenda on the brink .
President Joe Biden may have started this week with a foreign policy-heavy schedule, but his decision to launch intensive in-person engagement at the White House on Wednesday makes clear the reality: The stakes for his domestic agenda simply could not be higher at this moment, nor the impasses more complicated to reconcile. © Andre Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images US President Joe Biden, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R), speaks to the press after meeting with the Senate Democratic caucus to build support for his infrastructure and economic investment goals during the Democratic luncheon at the US Capitol on July 13, 2021