Senate Democrats on Monday argued over their climate change and antipoverty package aides expect to be roughly $3 trillion to $4 trillion in size.
- The multi-trillian dollar package includes climate provisions, child care programs, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
- Democrats have no support from the GOP but hope to pass the bill later this year, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) expecting it to pass before August.
- Democrats could pass legislation with a simple majority in the 50-50 Senate if they remain unified.
- Democrats on the Budget Committee plan on reaching an agreement by Thursday.
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-N.Y.) said on Monday that she wants a congressional bill on climate change focused on the “indigenous Black and Brown and low-income communities.” “I believe that the progressive caucus is rather united in the fact that we will not support bipartisan [infrastructure] legislation without a reconciliation bill, and one that takes bold and large action on climate, drawing down carbon emissions, but also job creation and increasing equity,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with Democracy Now.
DEMOCRATS WHO OPPOSE THE BILL:
- Centrist and liberal Democrats are still torn over the colossal size of the budget package and possible tax increases.
- Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) wants an even bigger package closer to the $6 trillion plan he had previously offered. “There are 50 Democrats in the caucus, and I suspect there are 50 different points of view,” he told White House reporters. “As you know, I introduced a proposal for $6 trillion, so I am going to fight to make that proposal as robust as it can be.”
- The more moderate Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.)—also on the Budget Committee—has “yet to commit to an overall amount, according to someone familiar with the talks,” according to WSJ, expressing “hesitation over some of the tax increases President Biden offered to pay for his collection of child care, education and other antipoverty proposals known as the American Families Plan.”
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said she won’t bring the infrastructure bill to a vote until the budget package has sucessfully passed the Senate.
- And some centrist Democrats don’t want to move too quickly. “Let’s take advantage of the fact we have a win in hand and get it done before August,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D, Ore.). “That’s the one piece of the puzzle, if you will, of all the stuff the president’s proposed that seems to have juice right now, that has bipartisan support. Let’s move on that.”
REPUBLICANS WHO OPPOSE THE BILL:
- Ultimately, how his plays out is still up to Republicans.
- GOP leaders are warning that increasing the federal budget deficit could squash any Republican support.
- Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) stated “We’ve borrowed a lot of money during the Covid crisis, and we shouldn’t borrow any more for nonemergency items,” noting this will be a major issue for GOP constituents considering the legislation.
IN THE MIDDLE:
- “The five Republicans who said they are on board conditioned their support on there not being a second bill later that would include funding for things like child care,” according to The Boston Globe.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speaking at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce earlier this moth expressed optimism that the upper chamber might be able to pass a bipartisan $1.2 trillion package.
- In light of its wide range of spending plans that Democrats—including Ocasio-Cortez—have asked for it to include, McConnell also said Republicans would give a “hell of a fight” over the legislation.