Biden Acknowledges Social Spending Bill Will Slip To 2022
Negotiations between party leaders and Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, bogged down over the cost of the package. President Joe Biden signaled that getting the bill out of the Senate will have to wait until senators return in January. The Hill reports on worries the whole package will have to be reworked. But Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, says he thinks the bill is "dead."
Biden Concedes Build Back Better Bill Won’t Get Passed This Year
President Joe Biden acknowledged Thursday that negotiations over his Build Back Better bill are poised to drag on into 2022 despite efforts and pledges by Democrats to get it done before Christmas. “It takes time to finalize these agreements, prepare the legislative changes, and finish all the parliamentary and procedural steps needed to enable a Senate vote,” the president said in a statement. He said that he spoke to Democratic leaders in Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, earlier Thursday and they plan to “advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead; Leader Schumer and I are determined to see the bill successfully on the floor as early as possible.” (Thompson, 12/16)
Los Angeles Times:
Democrats’ Social Spending Bill Falters Ahead Of Holiday Deadline
The approximately $1.75-trillion bill would fortify the nation’s social safety net by expanding tax credits under the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicare to include hearing aids, and setting up a universal prekindergarten and child-care program, among other plans. It would also fund about $500 billion in programs addressing climate change. (Haberkorn and Stokols, 12/16)
Biden's Build Back Better Bill Suddenly In Serious Danger
But more importantly, there is also a chance the entire Build Back Better bill will have to be reworked to accommodate Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) opposition to including a one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit in the bill. Manchin says he does not oppose the tax credit, which he has backed in past legislation. But he argues that because the credit is likely to be renewed over the next decade, its true cost is not reflected in the current bill's official Congressional Budget Office score. 2021 and allow senators to go home for Christmas. (Bolton, 12/16)
What's next for the bill? —
Graham Says He Thinks Biden's Build Back Better Is 'Dead Forever'
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday said he thinks President Biden’s social spending and climate bill, the Build Back Better Act, is “dead forever” as Senate Democrats struggle to get their caucus unified behind the legislation. Graham pointed specifically to the wariness of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has signaled concerns about the roughly $2 trillion cost of the bill and its potential effects on inflation. (Schnell, 12/16)
Senate That 'Sucks' Gets A Dose Of Reality From Biden
House Progressive Caucus leader Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said she spoke to Biden on Thursday and conveyed that she wants the Senate to stay in D.C. and keep working through the holidays. Senators are preparing to jet home after finishing work on some of Biden's nominees given the stubborn impasse. "The House did our work, and now it’s time for the Senate to do theirs. They must stay in session until Build Back Better is passed," Jayapal said.
Context Needed For Grassley Comment About Medicare Vote
Democrats controlling the U.S. Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote came up with a plan earlier this month to circumvent the Senate’s 60-vote rule for raising the federal government’s debt ceiling: Combine in one bill a procedural vote saving Medicare from automatic funding cuts for 2022 with the unusual authorization of a one-time only Senate majority vote to raise the federal government’s debt limit. ... The ploy didn’t pass muster for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, though, who voted against the legislation. Grassley said he opposed the part that authorized raising the debt ceiling without a 60-vote Senate approval. That brought a response from Democrat Abby Finkenauer, the former U.S. representative from Iowa running in 2022 for the seat Grassley holds. Finkenauer tweeted on Dec. 9: "It’s not surprising that @ChuckGrassley would fight to preserve the filibuster while voting to slash Medicare, but it’s sure as heck not acceptable. D.C. hasn’t been working for DECADES and this guy is the problem." (Muller, 12/16)