Pressure is mounting but with signs of progress, President Joe Biden will try to strike a deal in the White House and win over two holdout Democratic senators whose support is needed for his potentially historic $3.5 trillion government overhaul. .
With Republicans vehemently opposed and no Democratic votes left, Biden canceled Wednesday’s trip to Chicago to focus on COVID-19 vaccinations so that he could hold talks with lawmakers ahead of crucial votes. To dig in for another day.
The stakes are as high as Biden and his party try to accomplish a massive legislative lift, with an oh-so-thin majority in Congress promising a vast rewrite of the nation’s balance sheet. His idea is to essentially raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy and use that money to expand government health care, education and other programs – an effect that will be felt in countless American lives.
As if that wasn’t enough, Biden’s attention is gaining traction at the same time that Congress is in trouble. The Republican government at the end of last Thursday’s fiscal year refused to approve regular legislation to keep the government funded and raised the nation’s debt limit to avoid a dangerous default on lending. More votes are expected on Wednesday and likely to wreak havoc, at least temporarily.
An administration official who requested anonymity to discuss private talks said a signing with Biden and his party would be a policy achievement, adding a “strong feeling” that progress is being made.
All eyes on West Virginia’s sens. Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kirsten are at the cinema, who say the price tag for Biden’s plan is too big, but are publicly silent about the number they can live with.
The president met separately with two centrist senators at the White House on Tuesday, and Democrats are set to roll out the massive tax proposals and spending targets they’ve been demanding.
“Really good, honest, direct conversations,” Manchin told reporters at the Capitol after a White House meeting with Biden. He said he did not give the president a new topline figure.
Biden’s problems with fellow Democrats aren’t just in the Senate. A small number of centrist House Democrats are calling for changes in the far-reaching scope of his domestic agenda. But progressive lawmakers have warned against cutting too much, saying they have already compromised too much.
Applying pressure, progressives are threatening to withdraw support for a companion bill, a $1 trillion public act headed for a vote on Thursday that they say would do little without assurances of Biden’s big package. Is.
“We are clearly in very sensitive times,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. The president, she said, “isn’t going to tell anyone what to do. He’s going to have a discussion, have an engagement.”
Taken together, this is putting the entire Biden agenda dangerously close to collapse, the consequences of which will surely shape his presidency and the political future of lawmakers.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress in a letter Tuesday that October 18 is an important date — the day the Treasury Department will end all of its “extraordinary measures” being taken to avoid defaulting on government obligations.
Yellen urged Congress to “protect the full confidence and credit of the United States by acting as quickly as possible” to either raise the debt limit or suspend it.
Facing Republican opposition to linking regular government funding with a debt limit vote, Democrats are separating the two, putting aside the more heated debate on debt limits for another day, a separate October deadline. Close.
The Senate is set to vote swiftly to avoid a federal shutdown after the end of the September 30 fiscal year, leaving operations temporarily until December 3. The House can quickly follow.
The House is also preparing a possible vote to extend the debt limit until December 16, something Democrats are likely to support. But even if it is approved by the House, it is unclear whether it can pass the Senate due to GOP hurdles.
Tensions are rising in the Capitol as the outline of Biden’s larger agenda comes into focus amid a stalemate over government actions as usual over routine votes.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters when asked about Yellen’s warning that Congress should resolve the issue expeditiously.
“Definitely the loan limit has to be raised,” McConnell said. But he insisted that Democrats shoulder the unpopular vote on their own.
Meanwhile, the action behind the $3.5 trillion measure is testing Biden’s grip on his party, as he seeks a once-in-a-generation reassessment of the nation’s tax priorities and spending targets.
With all Republicans in opposition to the big bill, Democratic leaders can’t spare a single vote in the 50-50 Senate, relying on Vice President Kamala Harris to break a tie to pass the final package.
While physically holding the bill of more than 2,000 pages, Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming warned that it was nothing but “big government socialism.”
Biden insists the price tag would be virtually zero because the expansion of government programs would largely be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy — businesses that make more than $5 million per year, and $400,000 per individual. year, or earn more than $450,000. couple
To lower the price tag and win over centrist Democrats, it is not necessary to remove a specific program, those familiar with the process. Rather, lawmakers are eyeing ways to adjust the scope and duration of some of Biden’s proposals.
Still, rap. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., The…
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Joe Biden