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Politics Biden says he's open to shortening length of new programs

07:45  16 october  2021
07:45  16 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

Biden eyes a trim and slash approach for cutting down his reconciliation bill

  Biden eyes a trim and slash approach for cutting down his reconciliation bill The party is divided between spreading the pain around or protecting and preserving its favorite pieces. It may have to do both.But even if the trim-everything strategy is predominantly employed, some programs would likely still have to be cut out completely, according to several sources who either took part in White House discussions or were briefed on its thinking.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — President Joe Biden says he would prefer to cut the duration of programs in his big social services and climate change package rather than eliminate some entirely, as Democrats struggle to win support from moderates by trimming what had been a $3.5 trillion proposal.

President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden's comments on Friday, reassuring progressives on what he hopes will be a landmark piece of his legacy, marked his clearest indication yet on how he hopes negotiations over the bill will play out. Appearing to side with a strategy preferred by progressive lawmakers, it marked at least a subtle break with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has suggested that most Democrats prefer to focus on establishing a few enduring programs.

Biden claims his social policy and climate change proposals will cost zero. Is he right?

  Biden claims his social policy and climate change proposals will cost zero. Is he right? Joe Biden and Democrats could craft a social policy and climate change bill that would cost a net of zero, analysts say. But there are a lot of ifs.But no matter the final number, Biden insists the true cost will be zero.

He also said there is no deadline for a deal.

President Joe Biden greets children as he visits the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden greets children as he visits the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“I’m of the view that it’s important to establish the principle on a whole range of issues without guaranteeing to get the whole 10 years,” Biden told reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington from a trip to Connecticut. "It matters to establish it.”

“So what happens is, you pass the principle and you build on it,” he added. “You look back and either it works or it doesn’t work.”

President Joe Biden greets children as he visits the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden greets children as he visits the Capitol Child Development Center, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Pelosi, however, in a Monday note to fellow Democratic lawmakers, said, “Overwhelmingly, the guidance I am receiving from members is to do fewer things well.”

Jill Biden makes high-stakes campaign appearances for the first time as first lady

  Jill Biden makes high-stakes campaign appearances for the first time as first lady Jill Biden on Friday afternoon will flex her considerable campaigning muscle for the first time as first lady of the United States when she travels to New Jersey and Virginia. © Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images Jill Biden, wife of former US vice president Joe Biden, speaks during her husband's first campaign event as a candidate for US President at Teamsters Local 249 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 29, 2019.

Biden said Friday that although he expects the package to shrink, “we're going to come back and get the rest” after it's passed.

“We're not going to get $3.5 trillion. We'll get less than that, but we're gonna get it. And we're going to come back and get the rest,” Biden said during remarks at a child care center in Connecticut.

Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to reduce the sweeping package to about $2 trillion in spending, which would be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. The proposal includes everything from free child care and community college to dental, vision and hearing aid benefits for seniors and a number of significant provisions meant to combat climate change. They're all key items for progressives, but moderates have balked at the original $3.5 trillion price tag.

President Joe Biden exits Air Force One as he arrives at Bradley International Airport, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Windsor Locks, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden exits Air Force One as he arrives at Bradley International Airport, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Windsor Locks, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

One almost certain reduction would be in the proposal for free community college.

Progressive Democrats say Biden's $1.9T-$2.2T compromise not enough

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“I doubt whether we will get the entire funding for community colleges but I’m not going to give up on community colleges as long as I’m president,” Biden said. His wife, Jill, is a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College.

With slim margins in the House and the Senate, Democrats have no votes to spare on the bill. The whittling process has sparked concern from some progressives.

The party's internal debate was apparent as Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wrote an opinion column for a West Virginia newspaper calling out that state’s Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin by name for blocking the domestic package so far.

Sanders named Manchin as one of only two Democratic senators who “remain in opposition” to the measure, thwarting the unanimous support the party needs in the 50-50 Senate to approve the still-evolving legislation.

President Joe Biden greets Col. Stephen R. Gwinn, 103rd Airlift Wing Commander, as he arrives at Bradley International Airport, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Windsor Locks, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden greets Col. Stephen R. Gwinn, 103rd Airlift Wing Commander, as he arrives at Bradley International Airport, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Windsor Locks, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“This is a pivotal moment in modern American history. We now have a historic opportunity to support the working families of West Virginia, Vermont and the entire country and create policy which works for all, not just the few,” Sanders wrote in a piece scheduled to appear in Sunday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Biden urges warring Democrats to come together to pass his agenda

  Biden urges warring Democrats to come together to pass his agenda Joe Biden showed his frustration with warring Democrats delaying passage of his agenda, urging the moderate and progressive wings of the party to come together.'What are we doing? This is the United States of America, damn it,' Biden said, his voice raising during a speech in Scranton designed to promote both his infrastructure deal and his social spending program.

President Joe Biden walks to Marine One at the White House in Washington for a flight to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then onto Hartford and Storrs, Ct., Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden walks to Marine One at the White House in Washington for a flight to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then onto Hartford and Storrs, Ct., Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Manchin shot back in a statement late Friday, saying: “It isn’t the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them."

It’s highly unusual for a senator to publicly criticize a colleague of the same party, particularly by wading into the other lawmaker’s state.

Manchin has proposed holding the measure’s overall 10-year cost to $1.5 trillion and has said he wants to limit some health care initiatives to benefit only lower-earning people.

Sanders and Manchin stand, respectively, as among the Democrats’ most progressive and conservative senators.

Biden has openly acknowledged the price tag of his package will have to come down. On Friday, he visited a child development center in Hartford to speak about a need for investments in child care and other social safety net programs, arguing they're imperative to keep America competitive in the global economy.

At the center, Biden promoted his proposal to make such care free for lower-income families, and ensure that families making up to 150% of their state's median income pay less than 7% of their salaries on child care. It's part of a massive expansion of the social safety net that Biden has championed and is aiming to pass with just Democratic votes in Congress.

Big changes in White House ideas to pay for $2 trillion plan

  Big changes in White House ideas to pay for $2 trillion plan SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — In an abrupt change, the White House is floating new plans to pay for parts of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion social services and climate change package, shelving a proposed big increase in corporate tax rates though also adding a new billionaires' tax on the investment gains of the very richest Americans. The reversal Wednesday came as Biden returned to his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, to highlight the middle class values he says are at the heart of the package that Democrats are racing to finish. Biden faces resistance from key holdouts, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.

President Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One for a trip to Connecticut to promote his © Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One for a trip to Connecticut to promote his "Build Back Better" agenda, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“Too many folks in Washington still don’t realize it isn’t enough just to invest in our physical infrastructure. We also have to invest in our people,” he said.

A soldier stands at attention as Marine One, with President Joe Biden aboard, lands Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © Provided by Associated Press A soldier stands at attention as Marine One, with President Joe Biden aboard, lands Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden briefly greeted some of the children at the center's playground, at one point kneeling to give a child a hug.

The president's sales pitch comes as his Democratic allies have raised concerns that the American public does not understand the benefits of his package. There is renewed urgency among Democrats to push it through ahead of an end-of-month deadline on transportation funding, Biden's upcoming foreign trip, and a closer-than-anticipated race for Virginia's next governor.

The fate of the legislation, branded “Build Back Better" by Biden, is also holding up a more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate this summer. House progressives are balking at supporting that roads-and-bridges bill until agreement is reached on a path forward for the social safety net package.

In an interview this week with The Associated Press, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, criticized Democrats including Biden over the lack of progress.

“They all got to get their act together and vote,” McAuliffe said. Asked specifically if he was calling out Biden, McAuliffe said, “I put everybody there.” McAuliffe is in a tight race with Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin in a state Biden carried by 10 points last fall.

Biden also delivered remarks later at the dedication of the Dodd Center for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut, which is being renamed to honor a longtime friend, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, and Dodd's father, also a former senator.

___

Jaffe reported from Washington. AP writers Lisa Mascaro and Alan Fram in Washington contributed to this report.

Deal on $2T Biden package, seems close but elusive .
WASHINGTON (AP) — A deal within reach, President Joe Biden and Congress’ top Democrats edged close to sealing their giant domestic legislation, though the informal deadline appeared to slip as they worked to scale back the measure and determine how to pay for it. Negotiations were expected to continue into the weekend, all sides indicating just a few issues remained unsettled in the sweeping package of social services and climate change strategies.Biden met at the White House Friday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined by video call from from New York, trying to shore up details.

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