There is good news for the Biden administration, as the president is poised to have his $2 trillion spending plan. The plan would have initially cost $3.5 trillion, but in-house fights among Democrats led the president to trim the bill considerably.
Senators Manchin and Sinema are some of the Democrats who need to be on board for the bill to fly. Negotiations are ongoing, and there’s optimism in the White House that warring top congressional Democrats will reach an agreement soon.
Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi are Confident
Negotiations are ongoing between the president and top Democrats in Congress on how to seal the bill. Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden met each other at the White House on Friday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also joined by a video call from New York to discuss the latest details.
The party leaders have been in contact with Democrat progressives and moderates on how to shrink the bill to contain details that will make everyone ‘happy.’ The bill will include healthcare, clean energy programs, and childcare.
Pelosi spoke to reporters on Friday; she said everybody agreed to over 90 percent of the package. She also noted the climate change components in the proposal were resolved.
However, there are still issues with healthcare provisions. In conclusion, Nancy Pelosi told reporters a deal is very possible.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a deal is "very possible." Vice President Kamala Harris said she's "confident" that an agreement will be reached. https://t.co/iFGeXJKcwz
— 12 News (@12News) October 24, 2021
Kamala Harris was more confident than Nancy Pelosi regarding the deal. Harris said she was very confident an agreement would be reached.
Although they couldn’t meet the Friday deadline they set for themselves, Pelosi hopes the House will start voting on the bill next week. Besides, Biden also wants a deal to be in place before he leaves for the global summit in Europe next week.
Details of the New Bill
The $3.5 trillion legislation previously included free, two-year community college for Americans. However, this has now been scrapped to reduce the overall cost of the spending plan.
In addition, sources also say the $322 billion allocated for affordable housing and paid family leave has been taken out. Not only that, but $400 billion set aside to increase home-based care for the elderly and disabled has been removed too.
President Biden conceded that the plan to offer free community college was dropped after Senator Joe Manchin "and one other person" indicated that they wouldn't support it.
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) October 24, 2021
Child tax credits (which are a way to financially support low-income parents) will remain in the bill. However, the duration has been trimmed down from four years to one year.
Although Nancy Pelosi says the climate change components have been solved, we are not sure how they achieved that, since Senator Manchin said he wouldn’t agree to it.
Medicare still needs to be sorted out. Senator Bernie Sanders proposed vision, dental, and hearing aid benefits for seniors be added to Medicare. The president noted he likes the idea, but it might be impossible because Sinema and Manchin are against it.
In the end, there are still minor details to be worked on. The leaders of the Democrat Party believe it will be sorted out.