Biden praises domestic politics victory before heading abroad

US President Joe Biden introduced a shortened version of a legislative initiative that he hopes will be a national policy review that defines the legacy, which promises broad national investments in social welfare and clean energy.

Biden spent Thursday morning meeting with lawmakers from his party on Capitol Hill, before announcing that he had the necessary support to pass his framework for $ 1.75 trillion in social services and climate change programs, scaled down from a proposed version. initially $ 3.5 trillion.

The announcement spearheaded weeks of bickering with Democratic lawmakers, with Biden fighting to unify the progressive and centrist wings of the party.

Biden’s declaration that the new package has the necessary votes to pass represented a national victory shortly before his departure for a G20 leaders summit in Italy and the United Nations COP26 climate forum in Scotland, where he is expected to push forward. a global version of your strategy. called the “Rebuild Better” agenda.

“After months of hard and thoughtful negotiations, I think we have a historical economic framework, I know we have a historical economic framework,” Biden said in remarks at the White House after meeting with Democratic lawmakers to finalize the agreement.

“It’s a framework that will create millions of jobs, grow the economy, invest in our nation and our people,” Biden said.

“This framework will make the most significant investment in climate yet,” Biden said, adding that it will set the stage for the United States to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent in the next decade.

The US president has sold his plan, which includes a separate $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill, as a blanket overhaul of US domestic services. Similar to the New Deal programs that pulled the country out of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

But with only a narrow majority in both the House and Senate, Biden’s ambitious agenda had encountered opposition within his own party, particularly from Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Democrats have the narrowest margins in the House, which is 50% split with Republicans. Vice President Kamala Harris casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, told the US broadcaster CNN that she wants to hold a vote on Thursday.

Resisted Democratic Senator Sinema tweeted her support for the negotiated plan.

Reduced package

After weeks of negotiation, a proposal to guarantee 12 weeks of paid family and sick leave for American workers ended up in the cutting room. Like a proposal that would allow the United States government to negotiate cheaper prices for prescription drugs.

Still included were programs that guarantee a free kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds, expanded health care programs, including the launch of a new $ 35 billion hearing aid benefit for seniors with Medicare, and expanded home care for individuals. greater.

The package outlined Thursday included $ 555 billion in clean energy tax credits, in which the White House has called the “largest effort to combat climate change in US history.”

The proposal would be paid for by imposing a new additional 5 percent tax on income of more than $ 10 million a year and instituting a new 15 percent corporate minimum tax, maintaining its plans to have no new taxes for those who they earn less than $ 400,000 a year, authorities said. .

Revenue to help pay for the package would also come from rolling back some of the Trump administration’s 2017 tax cuts, along with increased enforcement of tax evaders by the IRS. Biden has promised that the proceeds will cover the entire cost of the plan, ensuring it doesn’t pile up on the debt burden.

Republican opposition

Republicans criticized the deal as another waste of Democratic taxes and spending. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, tweeted: “The more the American people learn about the Socialist spending scam from the Democrats, the less they like it.”

Republican Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, a right-wing acolyte of former President Donald Trump, called the deal a scam.

The top progressive lawmaker, US Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, praised the agreement as “probably the most significant bill since the 1960s in terms of protecting the needs of working families, the the elderly, the sick and the poor. ” .

“It is a great step forward. But clearly, in my opinion, it has some major loopholes, ”Sanders told reporters on Capitol Hill after the deal was announced, citing provisions cut during negotiations that he said would have lowered the cost of prescription drugs.

Other lawmakers warned Thursday that the agreed outline was not yet the full legislative text, the wording of which could create further hurdles.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, leader of the progressive group, praised the frame’s unveiling as showing “tremendous momentum.”

He added: “But we want to see the actual text because we don’t want confusion or misunderstandings.”

The progressives were meeting on Capitol Hill with President Pelosi to go over the details of the Biden deal.

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