Democrats shift focus to spending package after infrastructure approval

Democrats are shifting their focus to passing their social spending package now that the House has given final approval to the bipartisan infrastructure bill, though the party still has a handful of issues to resolve before declaring success on a key part. of process. President BidenJoe Biden Virginia’s defeat reveals Democrats’ struggle with rural voters After victory, Biden seeks political rebound Sunday shows progress: House passes bipartisan infrastructure bill; Democrats suffer electoral losses in Virginia MOREthe legislative agenda.

A senior White House official and Democratic lawmaker promoted passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Sunday, after the House of Representatives voted two days earlier on 228-206 to advance the $ 1.2 trillion legislation. which will then be sent to Biden’s desk.

The vote culminated months of tireless negotiations between the White House and Capitol Hill that dragged on due to disagreements within the Democratic Party, sometimes generating skepticism about whether the legislation would make it to Biden’s desk.

Now, with a victory under their belt, Democrats are turning their attention to the $ 1.75 trillion social spending package, dubbed the Build Back Better Act, which includes investments to expand social programs and address climate change.

Senior White House Advisor Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondSunday Shows Progress: House Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill; Democrats suffer electoral losses in Virginia Black Caucus pushes for priorities in final deal White House to house legislators as negotiations on agenda reach critical stage MORE told guest host Bill Hemmer on “Fox News Sunday” that the party has to approve the social spending package “now,” arguing that the funding will help ease inflationary pressures, strengthen the supply chain, and “invest in human capital. in this country all at once. “

Biden, however, faces some criticism within his own party for working to pass the pair of spending packages.

Rep. Abigail spanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerMcCauliffe’s loss exposes a deepening Democratic gap Democrats unite to send an infrastructure bill to Biden’s desk Conservative group targeting moderate Democrats on spending votes on MORE bills (D-Va.) He caused a stir last week when he told him The New York Times that Biden was elected to office by the American public to “be normal and stop the chaos,” and not to be FDR, a reference to former President Roosevelt, who helped lift the US out of economic uncertainty with the New Deal policies after the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Richmond rejected that characterization of Biden’s presidency on Sunday, telling Hemmer that the president was chosen to “do great things,” aiming to control the COVID-19 pandemic and help the country’s economic recovery.

He said that Biden “has an ambitious plan for the American people, for the American economy and that he is going to invest in them,” adding that “if you want to describe him as FDR, then he is like FDR.”

Democrats are now moving forward with the social spending package after moderate and progressive lawmakers reached a deal Friday night, easing a bottleneck the party had been grappling for weeks.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, moderate Blue Dog Democrats, and Congressional Black Caucus agreed to hold a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and advance the social spending package that night.

The deal came after progressives refused to vote on the Senate-approved bipartisan infrastructure bill unless it was accompanied by a vote on the social spending package. However, a block of moderate members said they will not comment on the package until the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) publishes its score on the bill, which should be in line with the White House estimates.

As part of the deal, the moderates pledged to vote for the social spending package if the CBO score, which is expected to be released later this month, matches the White House numbers. The promise was enough to attract most progressives.

Thirteen Republicans joined Democrats in passing the bill, while six progressive Democrats opposed their party and voted against the bill in protest in favor of broader legislation.

The moderates are now standing firm in their requirement that the CBO score be in line with the White House estimates, though they are confident the statistics will match later this month.

Moderate Representative Josh gottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerHouse Passes 1 Trillion Infrastructure Bills, Advances Social Spending Plan Demands for CBO Score Put Friday’s House Vote in Jeopardy Democrats Unite to Send a Bill of infrastructure to Biden’s desk MORE (DN.J.), who was central to the party’s negotiations, told the co-host Dana bashDana BashFive things to watch in the Virginia governor race Buttigieg twins dress as ‘infrastructure twin’ for Halloween officials, lawmakers express optimism about infrastructure, vote spending MORE on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the caucus received preliminary data from the Treasury Department, the White House and the CBO this week, and expects “everything to match” initial estimates.

“We hope that the information we receive is in line with what we receive from the Treasury Department, and at that point, I am confident that we will be ready to move forward,” he added.

However, even with the CBO numbers, the party still has some issues to resolve before approving the spending package and sending it to Biden’s desk. Some provisions of the package may be rejected or amended once it reaches the Senate.

Temporary work permits and protection against deportation for certain immigrants will be vetted by the Senate MP, who is tasked with determining whether the bill is in line with arcane budget reconciliation rules, which will allow Democrats to oppose potential Republican obstructionism by requiring only a simple majority for passage. .

Additionally, paid family leave, which is a key priority among the American people and several Democrats, is still in limbo.

On Sunday, Richmond told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the Senate does not currently have the votes to pass the package with the bill on it.

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