Democratic infighting puts October spending bill deadline in doubt – Yahoo News
Democrats may have to scrap a Halloween deadline for advancing a massive social welfare spending package thanks to internal fighting over the size and cost of the measure.
The House and Senate return to session next week and will have only 10 legislative days to meet an Oct. 31 deadline set to pass both the social welfare spending package and a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
The two measures, which make up the entirety of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, are in doubt.
BIDEN: 'WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET $3.5 TRILLION' IN BUDGET RECONCILIATION
White House officials and Democrats are eager for Biden to sign the bills into law in order to provide the party with a legislative victory amid sagging presidential poll numbers and a growing threat the GOP will win back Congress in 2022.
But internal infighting has escalated since Biden told the party it would have to scale back the package drastically.
In an interview Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t commit to the Oct. 31 date she set just weeks ago.
“We’ll bring the bill to the floor when we have the votes to bring the bill to the floor,” the California Democrat told reporters at a San Francisco event touting the still-unwritten legislation.
Biden told Democrats last month their plan to pass a $3.5 trillion spending bill would have to be scrapped and rewritten to fit a lower price tag of roughly $2 trillion. He reiterated on Friday: "I'll be honest with you, we're probably not going to get $3.5 trillion this year."
The cuts are aimed at winning over the Senate’s centrist holdouts, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, but they have provoked an intraparty frenzy over how to shrink the bill.
Democrats planned for the bill to fund a wide array of new government programs, including free preschool, free community college, paid family and medical leave, expanded Medicare benefits, additional Obamacare subsidies, aggressive green energy policies, and much more.
But now Democrats must slash at least $1.5 trillion in spending.
Progressives, who make up the majority of Democrats in the House and the Senate, have drawn red lines on preserving key spending priorities that could make it impossible to slim down the bill enough to win over Manchin, who insists publicly he’ll only vote for a bill costing a maximum of $1.5 trillion and almost certainly will not agree to a bill much higher than $2 trillion.
Those on the far Left begun attacking Manchin and Sinema publicly, exposing an ugly party rift that top leaders have tried to downplay.
“Ah yes, the Conservative Dem position: ‘You can either feed your kid, recover from your c-section, or have childcare so you can go to work — but not all three. All 3 makes you entitled and lazy,'" tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and liberal superstar. “But fossil fuel $, keeping Rx prices high, & not taxing Wall St are non-negotiable.”
Progressive Democrats are also resisting efforts by Manchin and Sinema to change key policy provisions.
Manchin, for example, wants fossil fuels included in extended energy tax breaks and is calling for Democrats to set up a means-testing formula to ensure only the neediest have access to new government programs and financial assistance.
“Means testing is a bad policy and bad politics,” Democratic Reps. Mondaire Jones of New York and and Katie Porter of California wrote in a Washington Post op-ed this week. “In theory, means testing excludes the undeserving rich; in practice, it often excludes the most vulnerable poor, who aren’t always able to jump through the required hoops to prove their eligibility.”
Lawmakers are also battling Manchin on climate policy. The coal state’s former governor, Manchin is pushing back on policy changes aimed at ending the use of fossil fuels, which he believes is unrealistic and dangerous to the economy.
But Democrats have been eager to eliminate fossil fuel tax breaks for decades and want to put policies in place to implement renewable energy.
They see the social welfare package as their best chance at accomplishing their climate goals.
In a letter to Biden, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva urged the president to ensure “essential climate investments” remain in the bill, including “meaningful steps to get the United States taxpayer out of the fossil fuel business.”
But Manchin chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and wants to preserve tax breaks for fossil fuels, including natural gas and coal. And Manchin wants his own committee to author any clean energy language that ends up in the bill, setting up a battle with certain House Democrats.
Some Democrats are suggesting the bill cut Sen. Bernie Sanders’s proposal to expand Medicare to include hearing, vision, and dental benefits. Sanders, who chairs the powerful Senate Budget Committee and helped author the original $3.5 trillion measure, said he will not accept leaders stripping the new Medicare benefits out of the bill.
Pelosi has remained silent on how she plans to sort out the infighting and trim back the bill. She told fellow Democrats last week the bill could be cut by doing “fewer things well,” but following pushback, she suggested the price could be reduced by shortening the time frame for the programs within the package.
Pelosi is trying to figure out how to keep Democrats together as they fight over whether to do less or simply cut back spending while maintaining all of the programs on their wish list.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
“The fact is, there are fewer dollars to spend, there are choices to be made,” Pelosi said. “The members have said, 'Let's get the results that we need, but we will not diminish the transformative nature of what it is,' while some members have written back to me and said, 'I want to do everything.' So we'll have that discussion.”
Washington Examiner Videos
Tags: News, Congress, government spending, Polling, Infrastructure, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema
Original Author: Susan Ferrechio
Original Location: Democratic infighting puts October spending bill deadline in doubt
BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) -The Chinese military on Sunday condemned the United States and Canada for each sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait last week, saying they were threatening peace and stability in the region. China claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and has mounted repeated air force missions into Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over the past year, provoking anger in Taipei. China sent around 150 aircraft into the zone over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1 in a further heightening of tension between Beijing and Taipei that has sparked concern internationally.
The petition shows there's a clear demand from Americans for more federal support, but it's unclear whether there will be a fourth stimulus round.
President Joe Biden says he would prefer to cut the duration of programs in his big social services and climate change package rather than eliminate some entirely, as Democrats struggle to win support from moderates by trimming what had been a $3.5 trillion proposal. Biden's comments on Friday, reassuring progressives on what he hopes will be a landmark piece of his legacy, marked his clearest indication yet on how he hopes negotiations over the bill will play out. Appearing to side with a strategy preferred by progressive lawmakers, it marked at least a subtle break with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has suggested that most Democrats prefer to focus on establishing a few enduring programs.
"Indications are that Trump is much more involved in this whole thing than we think he was,” said Dean, who knows all about problematic presidents.
The press secretary says the White House wants to help the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol "get to the bottom" of an "incredibly dark day"
Fox News contributor and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee reacts to President Biden rebuking calls to defund police
President Biden said his administration's proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill would probably have a lower price tag, in remarks to reporters on Friday.
Why Biden's team is pushing for a death penalty he won't execute
The "future of this country" depends on who is indicted next in special counsel John Durham's criminal inquiry into the Russia investigation, warned a top House Republican.
Democrats are finally admitting they need to shrink their ambitions to get anything done at all.
Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.A voice recordi
Analysis: They will end up with less than what President Joe Biden proposed. The question is whether they will gain anything at all.
A new book from an investigative Australian reporter dives into how Dr. Anthony Fauci reportedly misled the Trump administration on gain-of-function research in China.
Watergate sleuth Carl Bernstein says supporters of former President Donald Trump need to be investigated as part of a broader examination beyond the Capitol riot.
COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page. Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Driving the
College Football News 2021 college football rankings after Week 7 for all 130 teams with results and who's up next week.
France’s failure to secure the backing of European governments in its battle against Britain over fishing licences has prompted fresh threats of a Channel trade blockade by angry French trawlermen.
List of facilities makes it clear that virtually no part of the US appears free from the potential risk of air and water contamination with the chemicals Water samples from Clover Flat landfill in Calistoga, California, have confirmed the presence of PFAS chemicals. Photograph: Courtesy of Brian Lilla The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified more than 120,000 locations around the US where people may be exposed to a class of toxic “forever chemicals” associated with various can
Daniel Craig bid farewell to the Bond franchise with "No Time To Die." Here's how Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and more Bonds made their exit.
The Mountain State lawmaker did not take kindly to the pressure campaign for him to back a more robust Democratic-led infrastructure bill.