The White House is pushing for a vote in the House this week on the Reconciliation Bill and Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has aggressively been lobbying her own members to resolve their differences and move forward. Coming off the House Floor last Friday, she said she was “hopeful” for a vote this week, and that they’re “on a path” toward an agreement. However, the Senate remains at a stalemate. As he tries to get to the 50 votes necessary, President Joe Biden said Friday, “…You have 50 Democrats, every one is a president. Every single one. So you got to work things out.” (Above photo by J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)
In a possible sign that things may be perhaps getting worked out: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) met with President Joe Biden at his home in Delaware yesterday.
- Size—While the House is pushing to pass a bill this week, there remains disagreement on the size of the bill. Right now the number is likely somewhere between $1.5 and $1.9 Trillion, but that has been—and will continue to be—extremely fluid.
- Corporate & Individual Taxes—Key holdout Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has remained fiercely opposed to the framework paying for the Reconciliation Bill. While she has kept her conversations with the White House close to the vest, Democrats have been in a frenzied search for alternatives she could agree to, including Senator Ron Wyden’s “Billionaire’s Tax” that would raise hundreds of billions of dollars by taxing roughly 600-700 people in the country and a potential tax on carbon dioxide pollution.
- Medicare Expansion—The other key holdout, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) continues to oppose an expansion of Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing programs. Biden floated an $800 voucher program instead (which would cut roughly one trillion dollars). However, intense conversations will continue on the topic between the White House and Manchin this week.
- Climate Change Provisions—Biden is scheduled to travel to Glasgow, Scotland next week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference and he is hoping to have the most ambitious climate change package in the history of the country in hand when he does. However, Manchin also opposes a number of these programs and provisions, leaving any agreement uncertain. On Friday, sixty Democrats in the House and Senate sent a letter to Biden urging him not to bend on climate change.
- What’s Out?—The White House has made a number of concessions already: a proposal for free community college has fallen out of the bill. In negotiations, it is also looking like the paid leave proposal will drop from twelve weeks to four and that the expanded child tax credit and funds for affordable housing programs will be far smaller than first envisioned. In fact, rather than being permanent, the expanded child tax credit may only be for one year.
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