Breaking News
LAST CHANCE for Cyber Monday SALE: Up to 54% off InvestingPro! Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Divided Democrats see slow progress on Biden's social spending bill

EconomyOct 21, 2021 07:41PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) faces reporters outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

By David Morgan and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Brawling factions of the Democratic Party on Thursday worked feverishly toward agreement on a huge U.S. social spending bill, even as Senator Joe Manchin said there would not be a deal "anytime soon" on broad outlines of legislation that is a pillar of President Joe Biden's agenda.

The warning from the key centrist lawmaker indicated that Democrats were still not close to agreeing on the size and contents of Biden's spending package.

"This is not going to happen anytime soon," Manchin told reporters.

With closed-door talks being held throughout the day, there were conflicting assessments of how rapidly disagreements could be resolved.

Democrats have spent months arguing about the size and scope of what Biden initially proposed as a $3.5 trillion plan to expand the social safety net and fight climate change.

Negotiators might cut it down to about $2 trillion or less. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal told reporters his goal was $2 trillion.

Manchin - who along with fellow moderate Senator Kyrsten Sinema has been pushing for a smaller package - had said earlier he believed Democratic negotiators could settle on a final figure by Friday. That would resolve a key sticking point, although progressives and moderates would still have to sort out the substance of the bill, including what programs to keep, what to cut, and how long to fund them.

Neal said he had talks with Sinema and that the two lawmakers were in "full agreement" on major initiatives, such as extending an expanded child tax credit and family and medical leave.

"I still think there's a long ways to go but the conversation was really good," Neal said.

Raising tax rates for corporations and wealthy individuals has been a hot-button issue for months in negotiations, spurring ideas for other ways to raise revenues.

"Senator Sinema has agreed to provisions in each of President Biden's four proposed revenue categories - international, domestic corporate, high net-worth individuals, and tax enforcement - providing sufficient revenue to fully pay for a budget reconciliation package in the range currently being discussed," a source familiar with the negotiations said.

The source did not provide details.

Sinema has told the White House she will not support Biden's proposed rate increases for corporations and wealthy individuals. The White House told some Democrats this week that the corporate tax hikes may be dead.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, who heads the Congressional Progressive (NYSE:PGR) Caucus, said the tax provisions were vital to the success of the legislation.

"I think it says terrible things about us as Democrats if we can't get those in here because of one senator," Jayapal told reporters.

FRAMEWORK DEAL SOON?

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin said he expected Democrats would agree on a total price tag within days, leaving lawmakers to fill in the details.

"I think they've got to stay in over the weekend to try to get this resolved," he said.

Biden told lawmakers on Tuesday he thought he could get Manchin and Sinema to agree to a figure in the range of $1.75 trillion to $1.9 trillion, according to a source familiar with the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Getting to that number could mean giving up or delaying priorities, including a plan to offer all Americans the opportunity to attend two years of free community college, and scaling back others such as a child tax credit and funds for affordable housing.

Disagreements over the scale of the bill have held up Biden's domestic agenda, with progressives in the House of Representatives refusing to vote for a $1 trillion infrastructure bill already passed by the Senate until a deal is reached on social programs and climate change.

If a deal is promptly reached on the outlines of the big social spending bill, it could clear the way for House passage of the infrastructure bill as soon as next week.

Another stumbling block involves how to lower pharmaceutical prices.

A Sinema aide rejected media reports she does not want to give the government authority to negotiate lower drug prices for the Medicare healthcare program for seniors. The issue as been a Democratic priority for decades.

"As part of her direct negotiations over the reconciliation package, she is carefully reviewing various proposals around this issue," said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the final package could contain no tax rate increases at all.

During a visit to his native Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, Biden said the social spending legislation, plus the infrastructure bill, would create 2 million jobs a year for 20 years and not raise the deficit.

Divided Democrats see slow progress on Biden's social spending bill
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (3)
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Oct 21, 2021 4:06PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Another loss for the Socialist Communist Democrat Party of Soros
Yahaki Namati
Yahaki Namati Oct 21, 2021 3:31PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Good idea
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Oct 21, 2021 11:36AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
How many jobs did Obama/Biden’s big climate and infrastructure spending create back in 2008-12? Did they meet their promises then?
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email