Desperate Dems Now Willing To Cut Down Spending In Biden Agenda

Written By BlabberBuzz | Friday, 21 January 2022 23:45
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House Democratic leaders scrambling to salvage President Biden’s massive health, climate, and education package are facing a slew of internal disputes regarding the adequate strategy in the coming weeks; while all sides agree, doing nothing - is not an option.

Vulnerable Democrats facing tough reelections are desperate for a prominent victory to bring home to their districts ahead of the midterm elections. Liberal lawmakers fighting to install historic social benefits see this year as their last, best chance to do so, given the tough odds facing Democrats in those elections. Environmentally minded Democrats are warning of the pressing need to tackle climate change.

With Biden’s approval rating currently plunging underwater, party leaders are dashing to reverse the trend — and bolster morale among dispirited base voters — if they hope to have any chance of preserving the chamber in November.

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The $2.2 trillion Build Back Better Act was passed by the House in November but has since hit a brick wall in the Senate in the form of Joe Manchin (D), a West Virginia centrist voicing concerns that new spending on that level will saddle the country with debt and exacerbate skyrocketing inflation.

Manchin’s rooted opposition has led House Democrats of all stripes to acknowledge the vital need to scale back the package to be able to hurtle it towards Biden’s desk. Still, with so much on the line — and with Manchin already on record endorsing major components of the bill, like cutting prescription drug costs — they seem increasingly willing to accept concessions.

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“I don’t care if you call it ‘The Joe Manchin Bill.’ I just want it passed,” stated one Democratic lawmaker.

The stubborn impasse poses steep hurdles for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who threaded a delicate needle in uniting a diverse and restive caucus behind the massive benefits package last year and may soon face the challenge of doing it again. With a razor-thin House majority, success will require support from liberals — who were already lamenting that $2.2 trillion was too little and will now have to accept something even smaller — and vulnerable lawmakers, some of whom are calling for leadership to divide Build Back Better into smaller components and pass them individually.

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Rep. Veronica Escobar (D), a Texas liberal, spoke for most Progressives in voicing strong support for the initial $2.2 trillion package, expressing she’s hopeful the final product features “as many of those policies and investments as possible.”

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“I believe there remains an opportunity to do that, and I am eager to pursue any and all viable avenues,” she told The Hill.

As Congress returned to Washington last week from a long holiday break, Pelosi addressed the caucus behind closed doors and clarified that the package remains a priority — whatever form it eventually takes.

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