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Politics How the spending bill would change your life

15:25  24 october  2021
15:25  24 october  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Democratic infighting puts October spending bill deadline in doubt

  Democratic infighting puts October spending bill deadline in doubt Democrats may have to scrap a Halloween deadline for advancing a massive social welfare spending package thanks to internal fighting over the size and cost of the measure. © Provided by Washington Examiner The House and Senate return to session next week and will have only 10 legislative days to meet an Oct. 31 deadline set to pass both the social welfare spending package and a bipartisan infrastructure bill. The two measures, which make up the entirety of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, are in doubt. BIDEN: 'WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET $3.

Before the policy revolution comes the political drama.

US President Joe Biden with CNN anchor and host Anderson Cooper at CNN's Presidential Town Hall with Joe Biden in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 21, 2021. © Heather Fulbright/CNN US President Joe Biden with CNN anchor and host Anderson Cooper at CNN's Presidential Town Hall with Joe Biden in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 21, 2021.

Three people are haggling behind closed doors in Washington, DC, over a social safety net bill -- and the end result could give American kids more years of free education ... or not; combat climate change, expand Medicare, lower drug prices and change the social fabric of the country... or not.

US President Joe Biden at CNN's Presidential Town Hall with Joe Biden in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 21, 2021. © Heather Fulbright/CNN US President Joe Biden at CNN's Presidential Town Hall with Joe Biden in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 21, 2021.

Sales pitch: Something is better than nothing. President Joe Biden brought the private negotiations into the open at CNN's town hall Thursday when he explained, with a smile on his face, why Democrats wouldn't make good on numerous 2020 campaign promises.

Weary Dems not keen on another party-line spending bill before the midterms

  Weary Dems not keen on another party-line spending bill before the midterms Trying to push another big spending package before the next election is tempting. But most know it would be a heavy lift.But even as Democrats struggle to unify on their second party-line push — a social spending blueprint that tackles everything from climate change to paid leave — some of them still want to take a third bite. For those Democrats, the chance to squeeze Republicans on popular issues like health care ahead of the midterms is too good to pass up, despite the laborious budget maneuver they'd have to employ yet again.

Rather, he said they would pass what's possible, which is whatever two moderate holdouts will approve.

Read CNN's report from Phil Mattingly and Lauren Fox, who cover the White House and Capitol Hill, about the path to a final deal.

How to influence people. Biden heaped praise on Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia -- "a friend" -- and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona -- "smart as the devil."

He also tried to explain their obstruction in the most collegial ways possible without sounding angry or frustrated at what's being lost.

RELATED: Sinema is 'smart as the devil' and Manchin is 'not a bad guy,' Biden says

Cuts and revisions. Top Biden priorities like free community college for all are being cut out of the bill. Other elements, like the poverty-erasing child tax credit and an extension of Medicare benefits, are being sanded down.

A week that could transform Joe Biden's presidency

  A week that could transform Joe Biden's presidency Joe Biden is tantalizingly close to fulfilling what supporters see as the historic promise of his presidency in the coming days, at a critical moment for his social policy transformation at home and his hopes of reclaiming US leadership overseas. After weeks of feuding between moderate and progressive Democrats and his agenda's several brushes with extinction, the President's double play of social spending and a bipartisan infrastructure program may finally come to fruition this week.

Explaining why the current framework pares guaranteed parental leave from 12 weeks to four, Biden was open about having to compromise -- "four is what I could get."

Four weeks of guaranteed parental leave probably sounds better than zero to a lot of parents who don't work for companies that already have more generous policies. It's nowhere near the average of 45 weeks of parental leave in other industrialized countries.

Baby steps.

Multiple hurdles. Four or five obstacles to wrapping up the Democratic talks remain, according to Biden -- although by the end of this story you'll think it's probably a few more obstacles than that.

Chiefly, they have figure out how to cover the roughly $1.8 trillion cost of the proposals without raising tax rates, which will be a huge step. And they can't lose any Senate Democrats, including progressives like Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

It's All About Spending, Stupid. The Dems Blew Their Moment by Obsessing Over Taxes

  It's All About Spending, Stupid. The Dems Blew Their Moment by Obsessing Over Taxes Even though the Build Back Better bill looks likely to pass, the Democrats blew their moment by focusing on taxes rather than spendingSubstantial increases in corporate taxes, capital gains taxes and income taxes also may fall by the wayside. That’s a far cry from the relentless drumbeat over the past year of making “the wealth pay their fair share” that has animated much of the Democratic caucus.

And yet! Optimism. The smile on Biden's face on Thursday indicates he does believe Democrats will pass something.

Which leads us to the next, and more important, element of what's going on in Washington right now: The negotiations of these three people and their staffs could well change the lives of nearly every American.

CNN's Tami Luhby and Katie Lobosco have an excellent roundup of what, exactly, is currently on the table and what those provisions could actually do. Bookmark this. They've been updating it.

10 bold ideas and where they're at right now

The 10 examples below are just a sample of what's in their report. I've borrowed some of their language and tried to explain how the rhetoric has been pared back by reality.

Bold idea: Establishing universal Pre-K

Who it would affect: Every American 3- and 4- year-old would have access to public school two years before kindergarten. The $200 billion cost would be paid for by the federal government in partnership with states. This could affect 5 million kids and save their families $13,000 per year in day care costs, according to estimates.

Democrats fight one another in Washington as Americans struggle

  Democrats fight one another in Washington as Americans struggle As Democrats battle one another in Washington, cost-of-living spikes and a slowing economy are putting growing pressures on Americans and worsening the political environment that will decide the party's fate in the midterm elections. © Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images US President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi depart following a meeting with the Democratic caucus at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2021. - Biden met with Democratic Party leaders on his signature social spending legislation,after he will address the nation before leaving for summits in Europe, the White House said.

How's it going? This remains a centerpiece of the plan.

Bold idea: Bring kids out of poverty

How it works: Democrats already enacted this plan when they expanded a child tax credit as part of their coronavirus relief plan.

What's next? The stimulus version of this benefit expires after one year. The current plan is to expand it by at least one or two years.

What's it worth to families? This year's version pays $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for each one under age 18. It is available as a refundable credit to low-income families or as a deduction for people who pay more taxes. Half is going to people monthly, and half could come at tax time.

How's it going? Manchin has suggested a work requirement for low-income families to receive the payments. Biden opposes placing that kind of condition on a payment meant to benefit kids.

Bold idea: Make child care more affordable

How it works: Households would pay no more than 7% of their income on child care for kids up to age 5. Parents earning up to 200% of their state median income for their family size would qualify.

There are also proposals to raise child care worker wages and invest in facilities.

How's it going? Not clear, but it has not been among the reported sticking points.

Bold idea: Guaranteed paid family and medical leave

Dems race to renovate Biden's domestic-policy foundation

  Dems race to renovate Biden's domestic-policy foundation “There are of course dozens of proposals that folks are going to make a last-ditch effort to add to it,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said of the president’s social spending framework.Different factions of the party are arguing that the outline the president presented this week is not final, hoping to add back in still-disputed provisions on immigration reform, taxes, Medicare expansion, paid leave and prescription drug prices before the social spending package gets a vote.

How's it going? Proposals for 12 weeks have been pared back to four. A guarantee for all has been limited to those making less than $100,000.

Bold idea: Feed every hungry child

How would it work? Spend $35 billion to give millions more kids access to food at school during the year and in the summer. This would build off of investments made in pandemic relief bills, although those had varying success in different states.

How's it going? This has not been an obvious sticking point.

Bold idea: Give Medicare recipients vision, hearing and dental

Why is this necessary? 24 million Medicare patients -- nearly half of those enrolled -- didn't have dental coverage in 2019, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report.

How's it going? Some type of vision and hearing coverage look likely to be included in the final bill, but expensive dental benefits may be only on a trial basis.

A proposal to lower the Medicare eligibility age also did not make the cut.

RELATED: Democrats' dilemma: How to keep health care expansion in their big spending bill

Bold idea: Beef up the Affordable Care Act

What's happening? Congress expanded subsidies for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans during the pandemic.

How's it going? A plan to permanently expand those subsidies could be pared back to three years.

Bold idea: Give more low-income Americans health insurance

Why is this needed? Twelve states refused to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, leaving 4 million people who might otherwise have health insurance without coverage.

Americans Split on Whether Infrastructure, Social Spending Legislation Will Help or Hurt Economy

  Americans Split on Whether Infrastructure, Social Spending Legislation Will Help or Hurt Economy The ABC News/Ipsos survey found that 32 percent of Americans think that the social spending package and the bipartisan infrastructure legislation will hurt them if they were enacted. Above, Biden delivers remarks about his proposed ‘Build Back Better’ social spending bill in the East Room of the White House on October 28 in Washington, DC. The ABC News/ Ipsos poll released on Sunday showed that Americans were equally split, 34 percent to 34 percent, about whether these bills will hurt or help the economy. Only 6 percent think the bills would have no impact on the U.S. economy.

What's the solution? Create a federal Medicaid program to fill the gap.

How's it going? This has not been an obvious sticking point.

Bold idea: Lower prescription drug prices

Proposed solution: Allowing Medicare, which pays for a lot of drugs, to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies for between 50 and 250 high-cost drugs, including insulin. Medicare patients with drug coverage would see their out-of-pocket expenses capped at $2,000.

Who would benefit: Medicare beneficiaries and individuals enrolled in group health plans.

How's it going? This is the subject of much negotiation. It's not clear there are enough votes since Sinema appears to oppose it, as do several House Democrats.

Bold idea: Combating climate change

What's the solution? Wow. There are multiple proposals. These are a priority of Sinema. But Manchin has opposed one of the meatiest ideas, which was to give credits to electricity providers who lower carbon emissions and penalize those who don't.

How's it going? Party leaders are scrambling to develop a replacement from existing proposals, emphasizing tax credits and incentives to cut carbon emissions without imposing penalties.

Stay tuned, America.

Manchin won't commit to $1.75T bill, calls for infrastructure vote .
House progressives had insisted on more clarity from him before taking up a separate infrastructure bill. Now they say they're ready to vote on it.The West Virginia Democrat also rejected House Democrats’ gambit to win his vote, which involves holding up a bipartisan infrastructure bill he helped write. He told reporters at an unusual news conference that he would not be pressured into supporting his party's more progressive social spending bill and decried the “shell games, budget gimmicks” used in writing it.

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This is interesting!