Progressive leader Jayapal ‘even more optimistic’ as Biden eyes $1.9T to $2.2T for social spending bill

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WASHINGTON — The leader of the progressive House Democrats said Tuesday that his members had a “really good, productive meeting” with President Joe Biden, as the president seeks to get his party’s different wings from $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion. work to agree on a legislative package between Climate and the social safety-net agenda.

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“We all still feel more optimistic about a deal on a really transformative bill that will fundamentally elevate the people,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the House Progressive Caucus.

Biden hosted nine members of the left-leaning caucus for more than two hours on Tuesday, and met separately with a group of moderate House members and senators, as the White House continues to pass the president’s economic agenda. For emphasizes “urgency”.

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Jayapal said Biden is sticking to a topline number between $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion, down from his original $3.5 trillion Build Back Better proposal to garner the support of moderate Democrats.

Jayapal said, “Look, this is not the number we want. We have consistently tried to make it as high as possible, but progressive Democrats are now focused on rolling out the bill’s social and climate programs. .

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Biden told Sens. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Joe Manchin, DW.Va. Hosted personal meetings with, who remain a Senate holdout.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden is “more confident this evening” about the path forward after “a day of constructive meetings.” She said the talks focused on a “shared commitment” to the care economy, helping working families, addressing the climate crisis and investing in the industries of the future.

“There was widespread agreement that this needed to be done over the next several days and that the window for finalizing the package was closing,” Saki said in a statement.

Biden requires the votes of all 50 Democratic members to pass the bill in the Senate in a process known as reconciliation, but Manchin and Cinema have held onto the price tag. Munchkin has said his limit is $1.5 trillion.

House progressives have said they will not take another piece of Biden’s domestic agenda — a $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed in the Senate in August — until a more detailed reconciliation package goes ahead.

Munchkin has signaled protest Biden’s reconciliation package for a climate proposal that would provide incentives to fossil fuel companies that transition to clean energy. Jayapal said the climate is “one of the most challenging places” for progressives to reach a final agreement.

Biden’s Social Security-net agenda straddles an economy with high taxes on high-income people and corporations to pay for free community college, universal preschool, subsidized child care, national paid leave, Medicare expansion and other liberal priorities.

As Biden and Democrats look to reduce the cost of the package, the Progressive has focused on reducing the length of spending rather than cutting programs outright.

“I think he’s with us that we need to invest in as many of those transformational areas as possible,” Jayapal said of Biden, “even if it means less time for some of them.”

Biden is hitting the road to promote his proposals with a planned stop for his hometown of Scranton, Pa., on Wednesday. The president faces pressure to pass measures to address climate, in particular, before Biden attends a UN climate summit in Glasgow in October. 31.

Reach Joy Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.

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