Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, speaks to members of the media at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, Monday, October 4, 2021.
Stephanie Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Senate Democrats hope to pass President Joe Biden’s Social Safety Net and climate plan before Christmas and finalize their agenda before next year’s midterm elections that could stifle progress.
The House aims to approve the $1.75 trillion economic package later this week. The Senate then plans to consider the legislation after it returns from its Thanksgiving holiday.
“The [Build Back Better Act] “It’s very important to America, and we think it’s very popular among Americans, and we’re aiming to get it passed before Christmas,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.
Democrats must clear several hurdles to pass a bill — along with the trillion-dollar infrastructure package Biden signed on Monday — that they see as their key to trying to defend their majority in Congress next year. Through the Build Back Better Act, the party hopes to advance a range of federal benefits including childcare assistance, a one-year child tax credit extension, and expanded Pre-K and Medicaid universal health care.
Challenges start this week. House Democrats need to win over a handful of centrist opponents who want to see the Congressional Budget Office’s long-term budget estimates for the bill before they agree to vote for it.
The Central Bank of Oman expects to hand over its score on Friday. The timetable sets a House vote by Saturday.
Passing the plan through the Senate may be more difficult. As they try to pass the bill by a simple majority through special budget rules, Democrats can’t afford any defections from their 50-member caucus.
Conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, DW.V. , indicated that he would try to eliminate four weeks of paid leave from the House package. He also expressed concerns about moving forward with the bill at all as inflation remains stubbornly high.
Manchin said the upcoming CBO outcome could affect his vote.
“To be fair to everyone, let’s see the outcome, let’s see exactly what they intend to do,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Schumer may have to make changes to the House plan to keep his entire caucus and pass the law. If the Senate makes amendments, the proposal will have to go back to the House for a vote on it again.
Democrats don’t want to see the process slide too far into next year. Substantive legislation often stalls during election years.
The party called his plan one of the most important legislation in years, even after Manchin led efforts to halve its price. Along with expanding the social safety net, it will introduce a range of tax breaks and incentives to speed up the country’s transition to green energy and transportation.
Republicans – and Democrat Mansion – have raised concerns that the plan would exacerbate high prices for consumers.
Besides efforts to pass both of their agenda items, Democrats have tried to find the best way to convince Americans of how the policies will benefit them. Biden on Tuesday traveled to New Hampshire, the swing state that will help decide control of the Senate next year, to sell a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Schumer expects Biden to make similar trips if Congress can pass the Greater Safety Net bill.
He said Biden “will be going around the country talking about it, as well as all of the senators and members of Congress, and I think it will be very helpful to those who voted for him.”
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