Democrats passed the House Financing and Debt Ceiling Bill on Tuesday without a Republican vote, but they cannot do the same in the Senate due to the filibuster.
The bipartite bill
About six weeks ago, the Senate approved a $ 1.2 trillion program (including $ 550 billion in new federal spending) to strengthen the country’s physical infrastructure. The vote, after months of torturous negotiations between the White House and lawmakers from both parties, was unusually bipartisan, with 19 Republicans joining the 50 Democrats in backing it.
But the House has yet to resume it, as a majority of the Progressive House caucus will not vote for it until the larger, partisan bill (more details in a minute) is passed. Mr Biden and the main Democrats in Congress – including President Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader – have agreed on a “two-way” strategy that ties the fate of each bill to that of the other. They decided that was the only way to pass the two, given the competing priorities of the progressive and conservative wings of the party.
Biden Budget 2022
Fiscal year 2022 for the federal government begins October 1, and President Biden has revealed what he would like to spend on that date. But any expenditure requires the approval of both houses of Congress. Here’s what the plan includes:
- Ambitious total expenditure: President Biden would like the federal government to spend $ 6 trillion in fiscal 2022 and total spending to reach $ 8.2 trillion by 2031. This would take the United States to its highest sustained levels of federal spending since World War II, while running deficits exceeding $ 1.3 trillion over the next decade.
- Infrastructure plan: The budget outlines the president’s first year of investment desired in his U.S. Jobs Plan, which aims to fund improvements to roads, bridges, public transportation and more with a total of $ 2.3 trillion dollars over eight years.
- Family package: The budget also addresses the other major spending proposal Biden has already rolled out, his U.S. Plan for Families, to strengthen the U.S. social safety net by expanding access to education, reducing costs. childcare and supporting women in the labor market.
- Compulsory programs: As usual, mandatory spending for programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare is a significant portion of the proposed budget. They increase as the American population ages.
- Discretionary spending: Funding for the individual budgets of executive agencies and programs would reach approximately $ 1.5 trillion in 2022, an increase of 16% over the previous budget.
- How Biden would pay him: The president would largely fund his agenda by raising taxes on corporations and high incomes, which would begin to reduce budget deficits in the 2030s. Administration officials said the tax increases would fully offset the projects. jobs and families over a 15-year period, which the budget request supports. Until then, the budget deficit would remain above $ 1.3 trillion each year.
I wrote about the reasoning behind this strategy last month. Ms Pelosi had struck a deal with the Tory faction, promising a vote on the bipartisan bill by September 27 if the faction supported an immediate procedural step to move the partisan bill forward. Nothing has changed since, except that September 27 is four days away and the partisan bill is far from over.
Which is a problem, because if the bipartisan bill is presented on Monday as promised, it will almost certainly fail.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal from Washington, leader of the House Progressive Caucus, told Ms Pelosi this week that more than half of her nearly 100 members remain committed to voting against the bipartisan bill before the bill ends. partisan. That’s more than Republican support for the bipartisan bill can realistically offset, especially after House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana announced Thursday that he would urge Republicans to vote against.
The question now is whether Ms Pelosi will postpone the Sept. 27 vote, infuriating members to whom she has promised, or whether she will let it go ahead and fail. (If it chooses the latter route, the House could still pass the bill later.) The outcome will shape negotiations on the partisan bill.