White House announces new $1.75 trillion spending package as Biden goes to Hill to sell to Dems
The White House on Thursday morning announced a revised, $1.75 trillion spending package aimed at overhauling the American health-care, education, climate, and tax laws. The new package is meant to appeal to all congressional Democrats, which the initial Build Back Better proposal could not.
The framework bill was released after weeks of negotiations between the White House and Senate Democrats. House Democrat are still in the earlier stages of writing their version.
Biden visited Capitol Hill on Thursday morning to discuss the new package with House Democrats, many of whom are upset to see social spending programs slashed from the bill in the Senate negotiations.
The president is expected to deliver a public address discussing the new bill, selling the idea once again as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to overhaul the parts of the American social framework that are no longer working hard for Americans.
The initiative will expand Medicare benefits, promote cleaner energy use, provide universal pre-K, and ramp up social safety net program spending in a number of ways.
Most of the components of the new package correlate to campaign promises made by Biden, as well as ideas introduced by the president in the springtime when he offered up the framework for the original massive spending plan.
The newer, smaller package forced the president to reassess his priorities, which include what is listed above, but did not include the plan to provide paid family leave to millions of Americans, for instance.
Moderate party holdouts Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, of Arizona, and Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, have not yet voiced support for the new package.
The situation, however, remains unchanged insofar as the White House will need the support of every single member of the Senate Democrat conference and essentially the same in its House conference.
The White House also says the new package is fully financed. It plans to pay for it by implementing several new tax policies, including a new proposal that will require companies to pay a minimum 15% tax rate.
The proposal additionally includes a special 5% tax rate for Americans with incomes above $10 million and tacks on an additional 3% surtax for those banking above $25 million annually.
House progressives remain committed to their spending priorities and are awaiting the full text of the new proposal.
Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal has said that several dozen of the members aligned with her progressive politics will vote against the $1.2 trillion so-called bipartisan infrastructure package if the new, $1.75 trillion social spending package does not move simultaneously with it.
“What I want is the two bills moving together at the same time,” she said.