- President Joe Biden is now pushing for a smaller spending package, The Washington Post reported.
- Moderate Democrats have stalled the passage of a $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion spending package.
- Biden on Tuesday said a $US1.75 ($AU2)-1.9 trillion package could accomplish many priorities.
President Joe Biden leaned toward scaling down the $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion spending package to between $US1.75 ($AU2)-$US1.9 ($AU3) trillion in a meeting with progressive Democrats on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.
The Post reported Biden told progressives they could still accomplish a majority of their economic agenda with the slimmed-down spending bill. The outline is meant to be a way to mediate between progressives and more moderate Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin who said he wouldn’t support the $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion proposal.
Manchin and Sen. Krysten Sinema have sought to significantly reduce the price tag of the bill and have sparred with progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders over it. In June, for example, Manchin said he wouldn’t support a bill that cost more than $US2 ($AU3) trillion.
Sources told The Post the Biden administration believes a $US1.9 ($AU3) trillion price tag would allow them to accomplish several priorities include some expansions to medicare, universal prekindergarten, and billions towards addressing climate change.
However, the details have yet to be worked out, the Post reported.
A number of Democrats told reporters on Tuesday they are working to develop a framework for the social-spending bill by the end of this week, but progressives acknowledged the package is not going to meet the scale of their initial $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion proposal.
For example, CNN reported that free community college – a key proposal from progressives and the White House – will be cut from the bill, along with a scaled-back child tax credit that will extend one additional year, much lower than the five-year extension Democrats wanted.
The Post’s report follows Biden’s remarks last week, when he conceded Democrats were “not going to get $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion” – the first time he publicly acknowledged the price tag needed to be cut in the face of resistance from the group of centrists in his party.
“I’m convinced we’re going to get it done. We’re not going to get $US3.5 ($AU5) trillion,” he said at a speech at a childcare center in Hartford, Connecticut. “We’ll get less than that, but we’re going to get it, and we’re going to come back and get the rest.”
While details have yet to be released on what exactly made the cut in the bill, though, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, who has been adamant on preserving as much as she could from Democrats’ original proposal, told reporters that many of progressives’ policies are remaining intact.
“All our priorities are there in some way, shape or form,” Jayapal said.