Biden meets with Mansion, cinema as $3.5 trillion spending bill hangs in the balance
President Biden flirting with moderates Senate Democrats have to go along with his $3.5 trillion domestic spending package.
Biden will host two key swing votes, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kirsten Sinema of Arizona, in White House Wednesday.
In separate meetings with lawmakers, the president will stress the need for Democratic unity in pushing the $3.5 trillion package forward.
Mr Biden’s personal mediation comes as work on legislation in the United States has stalled Senate. Mr. Manchin and Ms. Senema, in particular, are opposed to the size and scope of the bill.
Both senators want to see the bill’s final price cut, with Mr. Manchin repeatedly calling for a figure of no more than $1.5 trillion.
“I think everyone knows my position,” said Mr. Manchin. “I’ve been very clear and very open about this, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.”
The majority of the party Democratic caucus opposes any reformulation of the top line numbers. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernard Sanders, a self-described Vermont socialist, clings to the need for $3.5 trillion to expand the social safety net.
I blocked the stalemate Senate Democrats are drafting the bill. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York originally set a strict Wednesday deadline for completing the package. This timeline appears increasingly unlikely.
Democrats are viewing the voter spending bill as “human infrastructure.” They say the package complements the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that focuses on road, bridge, rail and airport projects.
The Senate The infrastructure bill passed last month. The larger bill lives up to the wishlist of liberal priorities such as climate change proposals, amnesty for illegal immigrants in the United States, tuition-free community colleges, and expanded health care programs.
Given the strong opposition of Republicans, Democrats plan to pass the $3.5 trillion package through a special process known as the budget settlement. Some spending and tax measures are allowed to avoid SenateStall threshold by 60 votes and passed by a simple majority of 51 votes.
Ago Senate Equally divided between the two parties, any legislator can single-handedly exert a significant influence on its formulation. Mr. Manchin and other moderates seem to be doing just that.
Radical left-wing Democrats are critical of the tactics moderates use to soften the deal.
“These ideas and these policies are widespread,” said Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. “That’s because they’re meeting right now… what’s the point of the Democrats getting the House, and Senate and the White House. “