President Joe Biden said he had reached a “historic economic framework” with Democrats in Congress on his domestic policy package. This is a hard-fought deal that is short and not as good as the president wanted. But it’s something.
Biden’s speech at the White House came after he went to Congress to try to get them to approve the still-strong domestic package. It is worth $1.75 trillion and is made of social services and climate change programs that can pass the 50-50 Senate.
“This will really help out the lives of many people,” Biden said. “Let’s do this.”
Together with a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, Joe Biden claims he has done something like Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
Biden said, “I need your votes.” He wanted the lawmakers to vote for him.
Biden wanted to have a deal before he left for the international summits. But the new deal has some things that are not in it because it is harder to get these things done with Congress.
Some lawmakers and groups were angry when paid family leave and efforts to lower prescription drug prices were taken out of the package.
There are many other priorities. There is free pre-kindergarten for all kids. There is also more health care, including a new hearing aid benefit for people with Medicare. And there is $555 billion for climate change.
There is an extension on a child care tax credit. It was put in place to help during the COVID-19 rescue and new child care subsidies. There is $100 billion for immigration and border processing to make it $1.85 trillion if it gets approved by the Senate rules.
Even with the narrowed package, the support for it is still an issue. So as Biden left the Capitol, he said, “I think we’re going to be in good shape.”
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Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema said that she wanted to get this done.
However, another senator, Joe Manchin from West Virginia, was less sure. He said, “This all depends on what the House does.”
Biden’s bill would be a big deal. It would be much bigger than other bills in the past. The White House thinks it is the biggest investment in climate change and the biggest improvement to healthcare in a long time.
In a meeting with lawmakers, Biden said he wanted to progress to show when he meets world leaders in Rome. He wants this because people in Russia and China think democracies do not work.
Biden said, “We are at an inflection point. The rest of the world doesn’t know if we can do things well in America.”
He Said, “it’s not an exaggeration to say that the House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined in the next week.”
At one point, Biden asked for a vote from Democrats. He wanted an enthusiastic vote from them on his plan.
Twice during the meeting, Democratic lawmakers stood up and yelled, “Vote, vote, vote!” They were from Virginia.
Biden needs to pay for his plan by charging a 5% tax on income over $10 million and a new 15% tax on corporations. He also promises not to charge taxes on people who make less than $400,000 per year.
Revenue will come from rolling back some of the tax cuts that were made by President Trump. The taxes would also come from the IRS doing a better job at catching people who break the law. Biden has said that he will cover all of the costs, so it won’t cost more money.
The bill has not been agreed on by lawmakers and their aides. Rep. Pramila Jayapal is a Washington Democrat, and the leader of the progressive caucus said that unveiling the new framework will show momentum. But she wants to see what is actually in it because she does not want any confusion or misunderstandings about it.
Nancy Pelosi said that Joe Biden asked the House to vote on Thursday. There was a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate and became tangled in deliberations over the broader bill.
Progressives are withholding their support for the smaller bipartisan infrastructure bill as leverage for getting what they want. That $1 trillion bills for public works projects need to be voted on before Sunday.
The speaker said, “when the president gets off that plane, we want him to have a vote of confidence from this Congress.”
The Senate is divided, and we need all of the Democrats to vote. The House has a few fewer people than the Democrats, so two people from the Democratic party have reduced our vision.
Sinema has been working hard to make sure that Congress does not take away the Republicans’ 2017 tax cuts. She is forcing her party to do something different than just raise top rates on individuals and corporations.
Manchin disagreed with government programs that help people. He also let an energy plan go. This plan would have helped the environment. Also, he said that there should be work requirements for parents who want to receive a new tax credit for child care.
The two Democratic senators have a lot of power. They can decide if Biden is able to keep the Democrats’ promises.
At the same time, progressives bring about one key priority – they passed Vermont Independent Bernie’s proposal to provide hearing aid beneficial for people on Medicare. But his ideas to also include dental and vision care were not included.
The Affordable Care Act helped people buy insurance. Other programs built on it by giving more money to help people in states that didn’t want Obamacare.
Overall, this new package sets up a political battle. The health care funding that is in the package will expire in 2025. And then there’s the child care tax credit that will expire at next year’s midterm elections. So, this creates an opportunity for one party to win control of Congress and remove health care funding from the other party.
Democrats have not been able to close the deal, so Republicans are opposed. Democrats can send Biden overseas with a deal in hand. Then, when he comes back, they can work on the final details of the deal.