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President Joe Biden said on Monday that although he expects his social safety net and climate spending package to shrink, “we’re going to come back and get the rest” after its passage, reassuring progressives. One appears to be cutting his priorities for talks.

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“We’re not going to get $3.5 trillion. We’ll get less than that, but we’re going to get it. And we’re going to come back and get the balance,” he said during remarks at a child care center. in Connecticut.

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Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to reduce the comprehensive package to nearly $2 trillion, which will be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. The proposal includes a range of key provisions from free child care and community college to dental, vision and hearing aid benefits for seniors and tackling climate change, all key items for progressives, but moderators slashed the original $3.5 trillion price tag. Emphasized on. .

President Joe Biden speaks at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex on October 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Anger/Getty Images)

With a low margin in the House and an evenly divided Senate, Democrats have no vote to vote on the bill. The whistling process has raised concerns from some progressives that their priorities may be left out of the bill.

But Biden has openly acknowledged that the price will have to be hammered. On Friday, he visited a child development center in Hartford to talk about the need for investment in child care and other social safety net programs, arguing they are essential to keeping America competitive in the global economy. Huh.

At the center, Biden promoted his proposal to make such care free for low-income families, and ensure that families with up to 150% of their state’s median income spend 7 percent of their salary on child care. Pay less than %. It’s part of a massive expansion of the social safety net that Biden has championed and is aiming to pass in Congress with just Democratic votes.

“Many people in Washington still don’t understand that investing only in our physical infrastructure is not enough. We have to invest in our people as well,” he said.

Biden outlined how his plan would reduce child care costs for Connecticut residents, and noted the disparity between US spending on early child care versus greater investment in other countries, to argue that the lack of investment Because of this America is lagging behind.

related: House Dems unveil corporate, wealthy tax hike to fund $3.5T spending plan

“How in the world can we compete if millions of American parents, especially mothers, can’t be part of the workforce because they can’t afford child care or elderly care?”

He greeted some of the children in the center playground before speaking, at one point taking a knee to hug a child.

The president’s sales pitch comes as his Democratic allies have sounded the alarm that the American public does not understand the benefits of the package. There has been renewed urgency among Democrats to push through the package before a month-end deadline over transportation funding, Biden’s upcoming overseas travel, and a near-anticipated race for Virginia’s next governor.

Talks continue between the White House and members of Congress as they try to reach a consensus on both the total spending level for legislation and which special programs should be included. Central sense. The objections of Joe Manchin and Kirsten Cinema are forcing Democrats to shrink the package from Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion to closer to $2 trillion.

The fate of that legislation, branded “Build Back Better” by Biden, is also holding up to the more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate this summer. House progressives are shying away from backing that bill until agreement is reached on the way forward on the social safety net package.

In an interview this week with The Associated Press, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee for governor of Virginia, criticized Democrats and Biden over the stalled infrastructure package.

“They all had to do their bit together and vote,” McAuliffe said. Asked specifically if he was calling out Biden, McAuliffe said, “I’ve put everyone there.” McAuliffe is in a tight race with Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin in a state Biden, who was down 10 points last time.

Biden is also set to deliver comment Friday at the dedication of the Dodd Center for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut, which is being renamed in honor of a longtime friend, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, also Dodd’s father, Who was also a former senator.