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Democrats 'pretty much there' on U.S. social spending bill -Pelosi

EconomyOct 24, 2021 06:40PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) walks through the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz 2/2

By Jarrett Renshaw, Doina Chiacu and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Democrats have almost reached an agreement on a social spending bill that is a pared-down version of U.S. President Joe Biden's priorities and plan to vote on that and an infrastructure bill in the coming week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday.

"I think we're pretty much there now," Pelosi said in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" as Biden met with fellow Democrats Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin, who has objected to parts of the bill.

No top-line number for the spending bill had been expected to emerge from Sunday's breakfast meeting at Biden's home in Delaware, given some of the complicated issues that needed to be resolved, sources told Reuters.

Biden, Schumer and Manchin had a "productive discussion" and continued to make progress, the White House said in a statement after the meeting, without elaborating.

Democrats have struggled to agree on a framework of $2 trillion or less that will allow the House of Representatives to move forward next week on a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and set the stage for passage of Biden's larger "Build Back Better" package.

The divisions threatened to derail Biden's agenda on social spending and climate change and embarrass the U.S. president as he prepares to attend the opening of a global climate summit in Glasgow that begins on Oct. 31.

Schumer and Manchin were meeting to finalize some of the particulars. "I'm optimistic that we can do that," Pelosi said.

Asked if votes on the two bills would be held in the coming week, Pelosi said, "That's the plan."

Disagreements over the scale of the larger package have held up Biden's domestic agenda, with progressive Democrats in the House refusing to vote for the infrastructure bill, which has already been passed by the Senate, until a deal is reached on social programs and climate change.

Moderate Democrats, most notably Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema, had objected to the original $3.5 trillion price tag and some provisions of the latter bill. Republicans oppose the measure, but 19 in the Senate voted in support of the infrastructure legislation.

The White House is seeking to get Manchin to support roughly $2 trillion in spending, up from Manchin’s $1.5 trillion figure, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

The White House and Democratic leaders need the money to help keep the party unified as they slim down the legislation and make painful cuts to party priorities, like Medicare expansion, paid family leave and free community college.

Sinema has opposed a hike in the corporate tax rate that had been a main source of funding for the bill, but Pelosi said losing that would not stand in the way of raising the roughly $2 trillion needed to pay for the programs.

Pelosi said lawmakers have an array of options to fund the spending bill even without the corporate tax rate hike, including better tax enforcement, a so-called billionaires tax and international tax harmonization.

Senators were writing that tax proposal on Sunday and would introduce it Monday, Pelosi said.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on the CNN program she anticipated no problems in funding the bill.

"All in all, it should be relatively straightforward to raise the revenue necessary to pay for this bill," Yellen said.

The White House is also pressing Manchin to agree on a number of environmental measures after the senator, from coal-producing West Virginia, opposed a centerpiece of the plan that would reward utilities that invest in renewable fuels and penalize those that do not.

Democrats are considering a flurry of options, including boosting production tax credits for nuclear power and enhancing credits for carbon sequestration projects, the sources said.

Addressing climate change is a health issue, a jobs issue, a security issue and a values issue for Democrats, Pelosi said.

"We will have something that will meet the president's goal," Pelosi said. "I'm very confident about that, even though it will be different than what we originally proposed."

Democrats 'pretty much there' on U.S. social spending bill -Pelosi
 

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Comments (20)
David Lockshin
David Lockshin Oct 24, 2021 11:28PM ET
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What are the liberal progressives going to do
James Pattison
James Pattison Oct 24, 2021 11:21PM ET
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Sure is taking them a long time to spend future generations money this time… when will the millenials wake up and realize the boomers are spending our and our kids money so they never have to live through a recession… this wont end well for us millenials
Michael doyle
Michael doyle Oct 24, 2021 8:55PM ET
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So "building" back better means handing out more free money.. you think inflation is bad now?? shameful
Keith Wilson
Keith Wilson Oct 24, 2021 8:55PM ET
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The "Build Back Better" is referring to the Democratic voting base.
Clay Douglass
Clay Douglass Oct 24, 2021 8:44PM ET
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More lies..There's no deal..Just more dem lies..Can't gamble on here,or id bet!!!
Miles Mathewson
Miles Mathewson Oct 24, 2021 7:17PM ET
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Inflation and endless spending..what administration we have. Boy do I miss Trump and gas at 1.80?
James Pattison
James Pattison Oct 24, 2021 7:17PM ET
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#metoo
Keith Wilson
Keith Wilson Oct 24, 2021 7:04PM ET
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Lol....I bet somehow Hunter and his money laundering painting scheme don't get audited
John Laurens
John Laurens Oct 24, 2021 6:57PM ET
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Devastating solution looking for a non existent problem. Dems buying voters is all this is.
John Nguyen
John Nguyen Oct 24, 2021 6:24PM ET
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dems all they're been talking about borrow more , none of them interest in border, crimes, shortages, inflation.
Bob Ruppert
Bob Ruppert Oct 24, 2021 6:16PM ET
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Democrats and math. 700+ US billionaires worth a cumulative 4.4 trillion. the trickery is in the sunset provisions.
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Oct 24, 2021 4:39PM ET
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so basically the normal folk pays for it because God forbid the corporates pay for it.
Donald Hart
Donald Hart Oct 24, 2021 4:39PM ET
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if a corporation pays a tax increase then YOU pay it, not the corporation. Do you call yourself an investor???
HD HD
HD HD Oct 24, 2021 4:39PM ET
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backwards thinking ....the status quo has to change.
Scott Patterson
Scott Patterson Oct 24, 2021 3:41PM ET
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Tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, TAX and then … … TAX MOAR!
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Oct 24, 2021 3:40PM ET
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article courtesy of paid up shills of the democrat party aka reuters
Empire Destroyer
Empire Destroyer Oct 24, 2021 3:40PM ET
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Nancy rally incoming! She's told her friends and family to buy the dip!!!
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Oct 24, 2021 3:22PM ET
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Nothing but a TAX on everyone and everything. Inflation hits the poor the hardest. 2 Trillion for what? The Democratics have never built infrastructure or built anything. They just destroy everything.
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Oct 24, 2021 3:12PM ET
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All theater
Mark Stallone
Mark Stallone Oct 24, 2021 2:36PM ET
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This is a very interesting article. I've given it a good read, and have come to one conclusion.. Let's go Brandon.
Warni Hazard
Warni Hazard Oct 24, 2021 12:35PM ET
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The more stimmies we spend The higher we go How will it end? Nobody knows But right now you best be buying.
ben sc
ben sc Oct 24, 2021 12:34PM ET
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Yellen is another dangerous stooge. Unbelievable that no one checks these maniacs when they casually state such extremes as "it should be relatively straightforward " to increase taxes by 2 TRILLION dollars.
Bett Albern
Bett Albern Oct 24, 2021 9:58AM ET
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Senator Manchin will not go along with this Socialist agenda.  He will not do it.  I believe that Manchin's beliefs are much more in line with the Republican Party right now.  He gets it.  He will not accept any cornhusker kickbacks I can tell you that for sure.  I honestly believe he is telling Biden and Chucky that he is leaving the Party at the present time.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Oct 24, 2021 9:58AM ET
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Why would he switch? Voters elected a Democrat, thats what they are expecting.
David Lockshin
David Lockshin Oct 24, 2021 9:09AM ET
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Can they see gas prices are going up inflation rising... Not a huge Trump fan but he was more lucid on the economy.. These Dems are acting like Unions with no oversight.. Just asking and asking.... This seems like a highway to hell....
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Oct 24, 2021 9:09AM ET
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“Not a Trump fan but dems are bad meanie demons” ok pal
 
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