Democrats Float Possible $ 2.5 Trillion Conciliation Framework

Democratic leaders floated the contours of a $ 2.5 trillion spending and tax cuts in the tax settlement before senators left last week for a short break, in hopes the entire caucus would coincide with a little that smaller price.

At a caucus meeting Thursday with Senate Democrats, leadership was built a leading line of nearly $ 1.5 trillion in new spending on programs such as child care, housing, climate policies and Medicare expansion, according to slide slide obtained by HuffPost and top Senate aides familiar with the presentation.

The bill would also provide approximately $ 1 trillion in “tax deductions for working families” – including an expansion to the boosted child tax credit, Affordable Care Act premium subsidy credits and housing and clean energy tax credits. Overall, the price tag of the charge is about $ 2.5 trillion.

Conservative Democrats continue to block the path of the President Joe Biden$ 3.5 trillion is the Build Back Better plan, a spectacular proposal that will invest heavily in climate policies, parental benefits, child care and universal pre-K, as well as housing and expanding both Medicare and Medicaid.

The presentation offers a possible top line leader compromise, including Biden, float for several weeks.

White House Legislative Affairs Director Louisa Terrell, Presidential Adviser Steve Ricchetti and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese left a meeting with Sen. Kyrsten Cinema (D-Ariz.) At the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Sept. 29.

Chip Somodevilla by Getty Images

“This presentation is headed by Schumer informing Senate Democrats about what President Biden presented to House Democrats last week,” said Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (NY).

But even $ 2.5 trillion is higher than what Sina Sens. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and Kyrsten Cinema (D-Ariz.), The two most conservative Senate Democrats, said they would support.

Manchin floated a $ 1.5 trillion top spending line. Sinema refused to disclose a top line to his colleagues in the Senate, but he was comfortable with a figure below the $ 2 trillion mark.

“Like any bill of historic proportions, not every member will get everything he or she wants,” Schumer said in a letter to the caucus on Thursday, while the senators were in their own state. “I appreciate the sacrifices each of you has made.”

There is hope among some Senate and administration staff that Manchin and Cinema will include $ 1.5 trillion in new spending on the bill and exclude revenue losses from the tax cut in their overall price tag calculations. .

But Democrats are still hesitant that even this framework is enough to fully board the two senators. Democrats need all 50 of their senators to agree on the adjustment bill in order to pass it. The proposal does not have any Republican support.

“Ever since Manchin and Cinema’s demands have become a bit more well -known, people have been thinking, what are some gimmicky ways we can get $ 2.5 trillion while meeting their top line?” a Democratic aide familiar with the situation told HuffPost.

Both Cinema and Manchin spoke directly to the White House. Their offices did not return HuffPost requests for comment on this proposal.

The committee staff, who were originally expected to make some heavy lifting during a week off to make the bill’s adjustment, were instead virtually idle, waiting for a directive from the leadership of Senate – and Manchin and Cinema – on what overall spending figures they should be working on.

In recent days, Democratic congressmen have become contemplating what to cut from Biden’s Build Back Better outline to narrow the top line that Cinema and Manchin want. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) Said Monday that Democrats should start making “difficult decisions” of deciding which policies are more profitable to invest in and which measures can be cut together.

Democrats have proposed a possible compromise framework that would include nearly $ 1.5 trillion in spending on programs such as child care and affordable housing.
Democrats have proposed a possible compromise framework that would include nearly $ 1.5 trillion in spending on programs such as child care and affordable housing.

Screenshot slide / Senate Democrats Caucus

But they didn’t get any triggers. Progressive lawmakers have clarified that they do not support cutting any key agenda pillars. Doing so would risk losing the support of many lawmakers, who all want to include the issues most important to them, from investment to affordable housing to home care for older Americans.

But even if Manchin and Cinema have joined some mathematical hands to lower the perceived cost tag on the spending bill, there is still the question of what in the proposal needs to be “paid for.” The Democrats ’presentation said the“ compromise framework will fully pay for spending on the Build Back Better Act ”through increased tax enforcement, international and domestic corporate tax reform, drug pricing reform and others.

While Manchin is open to proposed revenue cuts, the senator said she not only wants the full bill to be paid, but she also wants to pay off some of the nation’s debt.

Meanwhile, Cinema also doesn’t support some of the party’s proposed ways to raise revenue – even if the Manchins are good as well.

Drug pricing reform is a potential major hurdle: The Arizona senator has reported aligned with pharmaceutical groups in opposition to the Democrats ’plan to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, a hugely popular proposal that could stand to bring in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. Manchin is more open to such reforms.

Similarly, Manchin appears to be closer to the rest of the Democratic Party when it comes to taxing corporations, while Cinema is opposed. Meanwhile, Manchin, who has close ties to the coal industry in West Virginia, is more reluctant to address carbon pollution than Cinema.

Democrats set a deadline in reconciliation negotiations for the end of October, when House leaders said they would vote on the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate.

But as long as Sinema and Manchin do not clarify what they will support, negotiations will remain stalled.

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