Senate Dems reveal rifts on $3.5 trln spending plan
Hours after the U.S. Senate approved a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint chock-full of investments in new domestic programs, new fissures emerged between the moderate and liberal wings of the Democratic Party over the size and scope of the spending.
Lisa Bernhard produced this report.
U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “Now is the moment to put in place the long-term plan to build back America better….” Hours after the U.S. Senate approved a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint aimed to ease the financial strain on American families, new fissures emerged between the moderate and liberal wings of the Democratic Party over the size and scope of the spending - prompting President Joe Biden on Wednesday to press for unity in passing the legislation.
“Because a vote against this plan is a vote against lowering the cost of healthcare, housing, child care, elder care and prescription drugs for American families.” Moderate Democrat Joe Manchin threw a bit of a body block early Wednesday by issuing a statement in which he warned about the “grave consequences” for the nation's debt as well as the country's ability to respond to other potential crises.
That followed his colleague Senator Kyrsten Sinema's earlier warning that she does not support the $3.5 trillion price tag but would work "in good faith" to develop the legislation.
Asked how he would navigate their pushback, or whether he would consider a smaller package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this.
“Every part of Biden’s proposal will be there in a big robust way.
There are some members in our caucus who want less, some members in our caucus who want more – same in the House.
We’re going to all come together to meet that goal.” The plan addresses key Democratic priorities, including climate change and immigration reform, and would create new social programs such as universal preschool education and subsidized home healthcare for senior citizens.
The Senate approved the $3.5 trillion budget plan after a marathon all-night session in a 50-49 vote along party lines, less than 15 hours after passing a $1 trillion infrastructure bill with Republican support.
The Democrats plan to push the larger package through over the next few months, using a process called "budget reconciliation”, which allows them to pass legislation with a simple majority vote.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said his chamber would return from its summer break early, on Aug.
23rd, to consider Biden’s sweeping budget plan.