Biden Breaks From His Party On Spending Bill Reality

Written By BlabberBuzz | Friday, 17 December 2021 10:50
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President Joe Biden indicated "some" progress as he and holdout Democrats prepared his social welfare and climate spending legislation, but it's doubtful he will make his Christmas deadline.

"I hope so. It's going to be close," he told reporters Wednesday at the White House before boarding Marine One.

Biden called West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin this week as he attempted to gain Manchin's vote for his heavy $1.85 trillion agenda. Before the call, Manchin told reporters he differed from the range of timelines for the proposals, a cost-cutting measure.

But behind the scenes, Democrats still need to get a sign-off from Elizabeth MacDonough, a nonpartisan Senate referee, before they can bring the spending bill to the floor.

“Committees that received reconciliation instructions have been submitting their final text to the parliamentarian, the Congressional Budget Office, and to our Republican counterparts,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

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“Throughout the week both Republicans and Democrats will hold bipartisan ‘Byrd bath’ meetings with the parliamentarian,” he added, referring to the process by which staffers from both parties will meet with MacDonough.

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Associates for several committees, including Banking, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Governmental Affairs, told The Hill that talks with the parliamentarian’s office are ongoing. Other committees, including the Finance Committee, are expected to start the formal 'Byrd Bath' process this week.

A Senate Democratic leadership aide said that staff for all 12 of the committees had finished the Democratic-only meetings when MacDonough was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema also has not supported the legislation. A Republican-requested Congressional Budget Office score discovered that if all the proposals were implemented for a decade and no other pay-fors were introduced, they would add $3 trillion to the national debt.

Biden also weighed in on Mark Meadows, former President Donald Trump's White House Chief of Staff, in criminal contempt of Congress. Meadows refused to resume helping the Jan 6 House Select Committee, mentioning executive privilege, despite already revealing thousands of documents and writing a memoir about his time as Trump's top aide.

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"It seems to me he's worthy of being held in contempt," Biden said Wednesday.

The 222-208 House vote, backed by two Republicans, refers Meadows's matter to Biden's Justice Department.

Biden is spending Wednesday in Kentucky surveying tornado damage caused by last week's storm, which made a complete mess in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee as well. Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed that the tornado had killed 74 people in his commonwealth, while 100 remain missing.

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