Critics say Biden’s social spending program would effectively create a ‘welfare state’
As Democrats move forward with unilateral talks on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package, Republicans – and at least one Democratic liberal – caution that the wide slate of social programs included in the bill could have lasting negative consequences for American workers. can.
The $3.5 trillion spending bill includes a number of social initiatives supported by progressives, including monthly child tax credit payments, Universal Pre-K, free college tuition, paid family leave, and expanded child care. Biden and Progressive supporters say the slate will create a more inclusive economy that will provide new opportunities for low- and middle-income families.
But critics say Biden’s social spending program would effectively create a “welfare state” that would hurt the ongoing US economic recovery and expand the government’s influence on workers. Susan Collins, R-Main, made the case during a floor speech earlier this week, arguing that Biden’s “expensive entitlements program” would “sever the connection between work and a brighter future.”
“We will not build a more prosperous, just and equitable society characterized by opportunity, dignity and meaning simply by issuing government checks,” Collins said. “The time-tested way for American families to achieve those goals is to support and reward the work. It is to recognize the dignity of the work.”
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one in Recent Op-EdHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., argued that a $3.5 trillion spending bill would result in “damaging our social fabric,” which would have negative consequences for American workers and small businesses alike. .
“The proposal would eliminate the Child Tax Credit as we know it, replacing it with a welfare one requiring no work,” McCarthy wrote. “Republicans believe that the family is the foundation of a strong society, which is why we have supported the expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the past. But we also know that work sets purpose, and for jobs and earned income There is no government option.”
Sen. Marco Rubio took aim at the Democrat-backed child tax credit program in June, weeks before the first monthly payment. The expense bill would extend the payment for an additional four years. Biden and other Democrats have called for him to be made permanent.
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“Despite Democrats’ claims, this is not a pro-family plan,” written by rubio in June. “It would rebuild the failed welfare system that President Clinton and then-Sen. had opposed in the 1990s, when there was a bipartisan consensus that the goal of welfare should be to encourage work and marriage rather than dependency.”
Republicans universally opposed Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, prompting Democrats to move forward with budget reconciliation. With a very small majority in Congress, Democrats need to stay united to pass the law with a simple majority.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a prominent liberal, has joined the Republicans, arguing that monthly child tax credit payments should be an action requirement to encourage parents to participate in the economy.
Earlier this week, Manchin drew criticism when he said he was “concerned about the entitlement mindset versus the rewarding mentality” when considering Biden’s spending bill.
“Ignoring the fact that we are not in a recession and millions of jobs are open, proposing a historic expansion of social programs will only fuel a laxity that could undermine our economic recovery,” Manchin said in a statement on Wednesday. “
Biden has struggled to reach an agreement that satisfies both progressives and moderates on the law he described earlier this month as an investment “in the future of America.”
“These are the long-term prosperity we’re talking about — about reducing the cost of living for families, creating millions of well-paying jobs for hardworking Americans,” Biden said on Sept. 3. “It’s about helping more people to be working parents, especially helping mothers lessen the burden of keeping them out of the job market.”
Criticism from Republicans and some moderates within his own party has done little to discourage progressives who have called for a $3.5 trillion spending plan to keep Congress intact. Several left-wing lawmakers have warned they will not vote in favor of a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal focused on physical projects unless the Senate passes the first budget bill.
Progressives say the full slate of programs included in Biden’s spending bill, including social initiatives as well as affordable housing and expanded health care, are needed to help struggling families.
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“Going forward without the Build Back Better Act will lead to a long-term investment in the roadmap of child care, paid leave, health care, affordable housing, pre-K, community college, climate action, and citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients … essential workers at risk,” the House Progressive Caucus said in a statement earlier this week.