WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – President Biden is taking his case directly to the people, trying to sell his social spending priorities.
Behind the scenes, progressive and moderate Democrats are negotiating just how big the so-called “Build Back Better” bill will be and exactly what will go in it.
Just ten days remain before Democrats’ self-imposed deadline to pass two giant spending bills and negotiations have kicked into high gear.
President Biden is ginning up support for his spending plans in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Biden said, “Folks, it isn’t enough just to invest in our physical infrastructure. We also have to invest in our people.”
Behind the scenes, the White House and congressional Democrats are scrambling to reach a deal they can pass.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, “Nobody will get everything they want, no matter what, our final proposal will deliver the core promise we made to the American people.”
The president is telling progressive Democrats the price tag of the larger social policy and climate bill will have to come down from more than $3 trillion to between $1.7 and $1.9 trillion.
Amidst reported cuts to the bill, one of its progressive champions is focusing on what will be in it.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said, “What this bill does is provides for universal pre-k. This legislation addresses the crisis in housing. This legislation expands Medicare,”
Republicans promise to vote against any plan the Democrats present.
Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said, “It’s going to raise taxes. It’s just going to cause more inflation, hurt the poorest families.”
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said, “It takes the pressure off these families that skimped the last week of the month just to pay their rent. It relieves their anxiety.”
Democrats want a deal by month’s end.
The president promised that the Build Back Better bill would be completely paid for, but with Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema objecting to raising personal or corporate tax rates, the White House is scrambling to find new sources of revenue to pay for it.
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