US President Joe Biden has agreed to cut the cost of his social spending plan from $3.5 trillion to about $2 trillion, a concession he hopes will persuade moderates in his party to support him.
Biden acknowledged Tuesday that the cost of his social reform would be “lower” than he initially suggested, and he hoped this would convince the two Democratic senators who opposed investing $3.5 billion in that plan, Joe Manchin. and Kirsten.
“It appears that (Manchin) is changing its position, and I hope that is the case,” the president told reporters after visiting a union training center in Howell, Michigan.
According to the Washington Post and New York Times, in meetings Friday and Monday with Democratic lawmakers, the president reiterated his prediction that his social spending plan would eventually cost between $1.9 and $2.2 billion, a huge sum. Compared to its initial proposal of $3.5 billion.
Biden did not explicitly confirm the new numbers on Tuesday, but he made it clear that he agreed he would not be able to come up with the initial cost he devised for this reform.
According to the newspaper, Biden’s new proposal did not satisfy the progressive wing of his party, whose leader in the House of Representatives, Pramila Jayapal, has called for at least $2.5 billion.
Although that number does not fit the number proposed by the president, it is a sign that the White House has been able to move positions closer to the progressives, who did not move last week from the $3.5 billion initially.
On the moderate side, Manchin said Tuesday that he would not “rule out” agreeing to the roughly $2 trillion range Biden proposed, although he originally said the maximum he would agree to spend was $1.5 trillion.
The president has made clear his frustration with Manchin and Cinema for their refusal to back this plan in the Senate, and his visit to Michigan on Tuesday was aimed at insisting that his reforms are necessary to ensure the future competitiveness of the United States.
“To oppose these investments is to be complicit in the decline of the United States,” Biden said.
The president has re-branded both social reform and his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan as essential to winning the battle with China, which is investing three times as much as the United States in infrastructure; And keep pace with the welfare states in other developed countries.
“The United States remains the world’s largest economy, we still have the most productive workers and the most creative minds in the world, but we risk losing our advantage as a nation,” Biden warned.
Biden’s social spending plan seeks to increase spending on health, child and elderly care, improving education and tackling the climate crisis, among other issues. It’s unclear whether any of these items will be left out of the ambitious package if their cost is ultimately reduced.
If he wins the support of the progressive and moderate wings of his party, Biden can eventually implement this social reform in the Senate through a legislative formula known as reconciliation, which allows a bill to pass by a simple majority of 50 votes, only the votes. Democrats.
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