Politics Democrats scramble to satisfy disparate members on spending package

01:06  28 september  2021
01:06  28 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

'Godzilla': Top GOP tax writer says Biden spending package 'most dangerous' he has seen

  'Godzilla': Top GOP tax writer says Biden spending package 'most dangerous' he has seen A chief architect of the 2017 tax cuts said Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar tax and spending package is the “most dangerous” he has seen during his more than two decades in Congress. © Provided by Washington Examiner Rep. Kevin Brady, the ranking member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, told the Washington Examiner that he has been working tooth and nail to fight the proposed $3.5 trillion legislative behemoth, which he said dwarfs spending battles of the past. He lamented the proposal as “tragic.

Democrats have attached to the spending bill a resolution that would increase the debt ceiling, which Republicans have opposed. Republicans said they will not pass the spending bill unless the debt ceiling measure is removed. House and Senate Democratic leaders are working to convince their moderate members to pass the bill, though moderates say they won’t budge unless the price of the bill is significantly decreased. One Washington reporter tweeted that this week is set to be “one of the most intense weeks in Congress”.

“ Democrats are using the reconciliation package to attack the American way of life, and they are forcing Americans to foot the bill. Instead of working to fix the nation’s soaring debt, inflation, or illegal immigration, Democrats in Congress are intent on passing the most sweeping expansion of government control in over 50 years without a single Republican vote,” Heritage Action executive director Jessica Anderson told Breitbart News, explaining the package would expand government into “every aspect of Americans’ lives, with more rules governing birth

House Democrats are scrambling to make changes to their $3.5 trillion spending package in order to satisfy disparate groups of members in time for a floor vote as soon as possible.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrives to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 27, 2021 as the House will work on the infrastructure bill, a continuing resolution and the reconciliation package this week. © Greg Nash Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrives to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 27, 2021 as the House will work on the infrastructure bill, a continuing resolution and the reconciliation package this week.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said over the weekend that the House needs to pass the bill this week, along with a bipartisan infrastructure bill, a prospect that remains daunting.

With Republicans unanimously opposed to the bill, Democrats can only afford three defections, and some moderates voted against parts of the massive legislation as it was considered by various committees. Others supported the legislation in committee but are demanding changes before a final vote.

GOP ramps up pressure on vulnerable Democrats in spending fight

  GOP ramps up pressure on vulnerable Democrats in spending fight Republican groups are ratcheting up the pressure on vulnerable Democrats to vote against the multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package in the House as lawmakers prepare to face what could be uphill reelection bids. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) rolled out a slate of ads last week hitting vulnerable House Democrats for voting for a procedural motion last month allowing committees to draft the $3.5 trillion bill, while the American Action Network announced last week it was investing $1.5 million in ads in five districts.

President Biden’s domestic agenda faces challenges as progressive House Democrats demand a larger bill dedicated to Democratic priorities before signing off on a bipartisans infrastructure bill. Senate Republicans and moderate Democrats meanwhile, are challenging the larger bill.

That's what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat , is calling this coming week in Congress as lawmakers are expected to vote on a trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, but also consider the Democrat -backed .5 trillion sweeping social spending package , core to the Biden administration agenda.

Pelosi has acknowledged the need for changes, saying they will be handled by the House Rules Committee.

The $3.5 trillion package includes many of President Biden's top priorities in areas such as child care, health care and climate. It also includes tax increases on high-income individuals and corporations to offset the bill's costs. Democrats are aiming to pass the bill using a process called reconciliation that prevents Republicans in the Senate from filibustering the measure.

The exact timing of a vote is unclear as Pelosi balances demand from liberals and centrists related to the $3.5 trillion package and a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill that the Speaker now says will get a House vote on Thursday.

Biden on Monday acknowledged the uncertain fate of his legislative agenda.

A play for critical momentum on Biden's agenda at a moment when there is none

  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.

A massive infrastructure and social spending package stalled Monday after centrist Democrats threatened to vote against part of the deal. Democratic leaders emerged from a closed-door meeting with some of the centrist lawmakers late Monday and were unsure when the House would vote next. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat , had offered moderates a deal: She would pledge to take up the infrastructure package by October and allow moderates to escape a vote on the budget resolution by allowing it to pass in a procedural vote setting the rules for debate.

WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress face difficult decisions about how to tackle prescription drug costs for seniors after it emerged as a sticking point between lawmakers trying to push a sweeping spending and tax bill across the finish line. The package is full of contentious issues, but President But the committee versions of the bills will likely have to be revised. And the traditional process in which the House and Senate pass their own versions, and then negotiate the differences, is unlikely to work. Instead, Democratic leaders are now under pressure to negotiate the entire package ahead of time

"It may not be by the end of the week. I hope it's by the end of the week," he said Monday.

The House took a step forward on the reconciliation bill on Saturday, when the House Budget Committee voted to advance it.

But one Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Scott Peters (Calif.), joined Republicans in voting against moving the bill out of the budget committee, saying he was concerned the party was rushing to craft the social safety net package. Peters pointed to concerns he had about some of the spending levels in the legislation and said he had "other objections to the bill that have not been resolved but could be if given more time."

Peters was also one of three House Democrats, along with Reps. Kurt Schrader (Ore.) and Kathleen Rice (N.Y.), who voted in the House Energy and Commerce Committee against a portion of the bill that would allow the Health and Human Services secretary to negotiate lower drug prices.

Democrats set up spending showdowns next week

  Democrats set up spending showdowns next week House and Senate Democrats are preparing for a string of spending showdowns that could blow up the Biden agenda and leave the party even more politically vulnerable ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. © Provided by Washington Examiner House Democratic leaders are hoping to overcome internal differences to pass a two-part spending package that would fund both infrastructure and a broad array of new social welfare programs. The package is critical to the Biden administration and Democrats who desperately need a legislative win to counter the president’s sagging poll numbers.

House Democrats scheduled a rare Saturday meeting to advance their proposed .5 trillion package , setting up a key procedural vote while they struggle to pass President Joe Biden's economic agenda.

Appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security were removed from the package earlier this week due to disagreements within the Democratic caucus over Trump administration immigration policing policies. Why it matters: The funding bills have virtually no chance of making it past the Republican-controlled Senate, Politico reports, and President Trump has threatened to veto them if they somehow do. Politically, the bills amount to an opening bid from Democrats in negotiations with Republicans over government funding for the next fiscal year, which begins in October.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) also voted against all of the House Ways and Means Committee's portions of the bill, saying in a statement earlier this month that the measure includes "spending and tax provisions that give me pause."

In a statement to The Hill on Monday, a spokeswoman for Peters said "conversations are ongoing" on the drug pricing issue and that his office feels progress is being made "on a plan to lower drug prices for America's seniors that everyone can get behind."

Another issue House Democrats are expected to address before a House floor vote is the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.

Republicans' 2017 tax law capped the deduction at $10,000, and many Democrats from high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California oppose this limit, arguing that it hurts their residents and states. But repealing the cap is expensive, and progressives are concerned that repeal would largely benefit upper-income households.

SALT deduction cap changes were left out of the legislation while it moved through committees, but some House Democrats have indicated that some type of change to the cap will be added before the full House votes.

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Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.), a key lawmaker pushing for repeal of the cap, said on a call with reporters Monday that he expects further agreement on the parameters of the reconciliation bill, including on the SALT deduction, to come this week. He said the House Rules Committee could meet about the reconciliation bill as soon as Tuesday.

A Democratic aide said that there have been discussions about potentially including a two-year repeal of the cap.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), another leading advocate for eliminating the cap, told The Hill Monday that full repeal of the cap for two years would be "moving in the right direction."

Pressure has also been building over language approved by the House Education and Labor Committee earlier this month that advocates say unnecessarily pits historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) against other minority-serving institutions for grant funding.

Under the current text, HBCUs and minority-serving institutions would be able to apply for grants for research and development infrastructure, but advocates say the legislation fails to set up different funding streams for the two groups.

Reps. Alma Adams (D-Ga.) and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) have threatened to withhold support for the overall package if the language pertaining to grant funding is not amended. Others have also raised concerns about the text, which Wilson says leadership is aware of and has made assurances will be changed before it's brought to a floor vote.

‘It will fail': Liberals threaten Biden infrastructure bill

  ‘It will fail': Liberals threaten Biden infrastructure bill A large faction of House liberals is threatening to derail President Biden’s economic agenda by voting against a critical infrastructure bill Democrats hope to pass this week. © Provided by Washington Examiner More than half of the 95-member House Progressive Caucus will vote against the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned to bring up for a vote later this week. The group is insisting that the House and Senate first pass a $3.5 trillion social welfare spending bill that is not yet written and lacks full support among Democrats.

Some moderate Democrats have also raised concerns about various tax and energy provisions that are currently in the bill.

Divisions also remain among Democrats over the size of the package, as moderates have balked at the $3.5 trillion price tag associated with the bill while some progressives say it should be larger.

Pelosi has signaled the figure will go lower as spending negotiations continue between the House and the Senate, where Democrats would need all members to be on board to pass the bill in the evenly split chamber.

"We have to find our common ground, respectful of each other's views. This isn't about moderates versus progressives," Pelosi said during a Sunday appearance on ABC's "This Week."

But Pelosi and other leaders face a tall task in trying to find middle ground between warring demands from both factions as the party races to a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan later this week.

Progressive threatened to block the physical infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate last month, if it's brought to a floor vote before the social spending package, concerned about the fate of the reconciliation plan in the lower chamber if the smaller measure has already passed.

However, some moderates are insistent on quick action on the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Biden and other Democratic leaders are keeping optimistic as lawmakers brace for the grueling week ahead.

"I think things are going to go well," Biden said on Monday afternoon. "I think we're going to get it done."

Democrats face tough choices on trimming spending package .
Democrats face challenges in reducing the size of their wide-ranging social spending package, a task that will be necessary in order to get key centrists to support a bill.While lawmakers had been focusing on a top-line number of $3.5 trillion in new spending and tax cuts, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are balking at that amount, calling it excessive. Progressives have now started to acknowledge that a final package is likely to be smaller than $3.5 trillion.

usr: 1
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