In a tight deadline, the Democrats are chasing a compromise over their $ 3.5 trillion budget
Here’s why: Every day the negotiations drag on is a day closer to the Democrats losing the momentum to get a tough law through Congress with wafer-thin majorities. Every day is a different day when a lobbyist gets in someone’s ear. Every day is a new day for Republicans to put themselves on the mind of a lawmaker to make historic investments – even if overwhelmingly popular.
Both Sens. Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have objected to the cost of the law, which is largely funded by tax increases for the richest individuals and companies in the country.
Sinema has not expressed its concerns and is happy to simply sound out an unspecific dissatisfaction. Manchin made comments on Sunday about things like adding work / education requirements for child tax deduction.
Here’s the bottom line: House progressives, who have as much veto power in the lower chamber as manch-inema in the upper chamber, consider $ 3.5 trillion as their bare minimum. They failed to vote for Manch-inema’s trillion-dollar bill across both parties, and now the two centrist senators can decide whether to blow Biden’s legacy laws or get on board.
“We can either spend $ 3.5 trillion now to fight the climate or we can spend a lot more later – if the crisis has escalated further and claimed even more lives,” warned the Progressive Caucus of Congress on Monday.
Tax increases for wealthy businesses
The House of Representatives’ tax proposal to fund the draft budget wasn’t quite as progressive as Biden’s, but mostly in the same spirit.
One thing to add is repeal state and local tax deductions (SALT) introduced by Republicans in 2017, which they deliberately set on taxpayers in New York, New Jersey, and California. A bicameral group of Democratic MPs from New York and New Jersey are fixated on this change.
Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey simply said, “I expect the final House bill will include full repeal … otherwise it will be hard to endorse.”
On another note, the House of Representatives proposal did not include much property tax, a provision some Senate Democrats would like to see added.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who praised other parts of the House of Representatives proposal, said she would “want us to do more to get billionaires, giant corporations and tax evaders to pick up the ticket for this package.”
Certainly more will come to the fore. Whether they reach a compromise by Wednesday may not matter as much as the fact that they work with a sense of urgency. The total investment – $ 3.5 trillion – still seems to be the biggest barrier to progress.