Loading...

House Democrats Break Impasse to Advance $3.5T Budget Plan

August 24, 2021 by Tom Ramstack
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves the chamber after urging advancement of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, named for the late Georgia congressman who made the issue a defining one of his career, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — House Democrats narrowly approved a $3.5 trillion budget framework Tuesday, hours after coming to agreement with moderates whose desire for an immediate vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill nearly scuttled President Joe Biden’s sweeping domestic agenda.

In a strictly party line vote, the House voted 220-212 to adopt a rule that allows Democrats to make any modifications needed for the massive $3.5 trillion social benefits package to pass. 

The rule also allowed the chamber to take up a voting rights measure that appeared on track to pass Tuesday evening, and requires the House to take up the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by Sept. 27.

The moderates said they would go along with the Build Back Better Plan only if they could vote early on infrastructure proposals, rather than an entire package that includes social benefits.

The infrastructure would consist of water systems, broadband telecommunications, railroads, airport improvements and other bedrock parts of the economy. 

Biden’s infrastructure proposals already have won approval in the Senate and gained wide support in the House. They represent about $1.2 trillion in projects.

After negotiations that stretched late into the night Monday, the Democrat-led House Rules Committee agreed to a resolution that would require a vote on the infrastructure plan no later than Sept. 27.

However, the resolution left uncertain any date for a vote on social benefits in Biden’s Build Back Better Plan. They include funding for education, childcare, job training and housing subsidies.

“It is my hope that my colleagues recognize the fundamental choice before us, whether to advance the president’s agenda or whether to obstruct it,” said Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., chairman of the House Rules Committee.

Even some Democrats are hesitating, saying the president’s proposals for social benefits are far too expensive. Republicans are pledging strong opposition unless changes are made.

“This is spending money that we don’t have,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., told Fox Business.

Republicans argue the social benefits would lead to higher taxes, more inflation and raise the federal deficit, potentially forcing future generations to pay off the debt.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her supporters that included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., were insisting the infrastructure and social programs should be presented as a package deal to Congress.

Pelosi earlier said she would delay a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill until work on the $3.5 trillion social benefits proposal was completed.

She was concerned that separating them would dilute support for the entire program.

Pelosi relented after seeing that infrastructure projects in the Build Back Better Plan, a keynote piece of the Biden administration’s agenda, could fail without an early vote.

“Passing an infrastructure bill is always exciting for what it means in terms of jobs and commerce in our country,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday.

She held out hope for a compromise that would get the social benefits plan through the Senate when she said she wanted to “work with House and Senate Democrats to reach agreement … ”

Biden promoted his economic agenda during a White House press conference Tuesday afternoon.

After thanking lawmakers who voted for the infrastructure resolution, he said his economic plan represents “historic investments that will transform America … for long-term, long-term growth.”

He addressed critics’ concerns about the high costs when he said, “This is all paid for.”

He was referring to his proposal for higher taxes on big corporations and wealthy persons but lower taxes for middle and low-income Americans.

“My goal is to build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not just the top down,” Biden said.

Congress

Biden, Top Dems Strategize; Pelosi Says Deal 'Very Possible'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Congress' top two Democrats strategized Friday trying to wrap up their giant domestic... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Congress' top two Democrats strategized Friday trying to wrap up their giant domestic legislation, as the party continued scaling back the measure and determining ways to pay for it ahead of new deadlines. Biden had breakfast at the White... Read More

October 22, 2021
by Dan McCue
House Votes to Recommend Contempt Charges Against Bannon

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives has voted to recommend that Steve Bannon, a long-time aide to former President Donald... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives has voted to recommend that Steve Bannon, a long-time aide to former President Donald Trump, be held in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol. The 229-202 vote... Read More

October 21, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Wind Generators Faces Support and Skeptics as Government Seeks Renewable Energy

WASHINGTON -- The wind drove federal lawmakers Thursday to consider whether offshore turbines should become a major new source of... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The wind drove federal lawmakers Thursday to consider whether offshore turbines should become a major new source of electricity for American consumers. As environmentalists tried to convince a congressional panel that wind energy is a cost-effective investment, detractors said hidden expenses mean it’s not... Read More

House to Vote on Bannon Contempt as Justice Decision Looms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is voting Thursday on whether to hold Steve Bannon, a longtime ally and aide to... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is voting Thursday on whether to hold Steve Bannon, a longtime ally and aide to former President Donald Trump, in contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from a committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. That committee has... Read More

Big Changes in White House Ideas to Pay for $2 Trillion Plan

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — In an abrupt change, the White House on Wednesday floated new plans to pay for parts... Read More

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — In an abrupt change, the White House on Wednesday floated new plans to pay for parts of President Joe Biden's $2 trillion social services and climate change package, shelving a proposed big increase in corporate tax rates though also adding a new... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Dan McCue
Senate GOP Blocks Democrats’ Election Reform Bill, Filibuster Support Softens

WASHINGTON -- Despite changes reflecting the spirit of compromise, Senate Democrats were unable on Wednesday to convince a single Republican... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Despite changes reflecting the spirit of compromise, Senate Democrats were unable on Wednesday to convince a single Republican to vote with them in support of guaranteeing Americans the right to easy access to the polls.  As a result, the Senate voted 49-51 to end... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version