Biden says he’s open to shortening length of new programs

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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 altogether, as Democrats win support from moderates by reducing the $3.5 trillion proposal. struggle to do.

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Biden’s remarks on Friday, while reassuring progressives on what he hopes will be a historic piece of his legacy, marked his clear indication of how he expects talks on the bill will go. As well as a strategy favored 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 permanent programs.

He also said that there is no time limit for the deal.


“I believe it’s important to establish theory on a whole range of issues without guaranteeing a full 10 years,” Biden told reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington from a trip to Connecticut. “It’s important to set it up.”

“So what happens is, you pass on the theory and you build on it,” he said. “You look back and either it works or it doesn’t work.”

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However, Pelosi said in a Monday note to fellow Democratic lawmakers, “Overwhelmingly, the guidance I’m getting from members is to do less things well.”

Biden said on Friday that although he expects the package to shrink, “we’re going to come back and get the rest” after it’s passed.

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

Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to push a comprehensive package of nearly $2 trillion to be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. The proposal includes many important provisions ranging from free child care and community college to dental, vision and hearing aid benefits for seniors and tackling climate change. Those are all major commodities for progressives, but moderates insist on the original $3.5 trillion price tag.

An almost certain drawback will be in the offer of free community college.

“I doubt whether we’ll get full funding for community colleges, but as long as I’m president, I’m not going to leave community colleges,” Biden said. His wife, Jill, is a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College.

With minor differences in the House and Senate, Democrats have no vote to vote on the bill. The whistleblowing process has raised concerns for some progressives.

The party’s internal debate was clear as Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. wrote an opinion column for a West Virginia newspaper that named the state’s Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin for blocking the hitherto domestic package.

Sanders named Munchkin as one of only two Democratic senators who “remain in opposition” to the measure, the party still requiring unanimous support in the 50-50 Senate to approve the evolving legislation. .

“This is a pivotal moment in modern American history. We now have a historic opportunity to support working families in West Virginia, Vermont, and across the country, and to create a policy that works for all, not just a few.” ,” Sanders wrote in a piece appearing in Sunday’s Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Munchkin hit back in a statement late Friday, saying: “This isn’t the first time an out-of-stateer has tried to tell a West Virginian what’s best for them.”

It is highly unusual for a senator to publicly criticize an ally of the same party, especially by sneaking into another MP’s state.

Munchkin has proposed putting the total 10-year cost of the measure at $1.5 trillion and said he wants to limit some health care initiatives to benefit only those with low incomes.

Sanders and Manchin are among the Democrats’ most progressive and conservative senators, respectively.

Biden has openly admitted that the price tag of his package will need to be lowered. 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.

“A lot of people in Washington still don’t realize that there is not enough to invest in our physical infrastructure. We have to invest in our people too,” he said.

Biden greeted some children in the center playground, at one point taking a knee to hug a child.

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

The fate of the legislation, branded “Build Back Better” by Biden, is also the fate of the more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate this summer. House progressives are shying away from backing that road and bridge bill until a compromise is reached on the road ahead for the social safety net package.

in an interview…


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