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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Biden agenda sinks under his own ambitions

Such an effort would begin with responding to concerns that Mr Manchin has expressed for a long time, including dropping some of the spending efforts to focus on a short list of programs that would span a full decade. and will be largely paid for by increasing taxes on high income earners. large corporations.

It would force the White House to make the tough choice of which party’s priorities to leave on the cutting room floor – a decision that will undoubtedly anger progressive Democratic lawmakers and many who voted for Mr Biden, who is on most of the agenda. But went on. This is commonly referred to as the Build Back Better Bill.

Mr Biden started the year with an agenda of $4 trillion to transform the role of government in the economy, fight climate change and invest in America’s children. He cut some of it for a bipartisan infrastructure bill, which he signed into law this fall, and reduced the rest to talks with moderates and progressives in his party, who by an extremely narrow margin. and controls the Senate.

This fall the president believed he had found the sweet spot. Shortly before traveling to Rome to meet world leaders and in Scotland to attend a global climate summit, he announced a roadmap, which he said would be able to garner the support of a House majority and 50 votes. would be able, at a minimum, in the Senate to pass using a parliamentary process called budget conciliation.

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As they withdrew the bill, Democratic leaders essentially had two options. They may focus on certain programs, such as tax credits for climate change, an expanded benefit for parents to fight child poverty and pre-school programs for 3- and 4-year-olds nationwide. -K is to make free. Or they could pack as many programs into the bill as possible, set some of them to expire after a year to avoid bridging the budget deficit, and hope that lawmakers will do their best in the future. will expand.

Leaders chose the “pack-it-in” strategy because so many interest groups in their coalition, such as environmentalists, childhood advocates and labor unions, had competing preferences for the law. Centrist Democratic groups such as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the Progressive Policy Institute, such as Budget Hawk, urged a more targeted approach: less programmed, but made permanent.

Mr Manchin, perhaps the most prominent loss-making hawk in the Democratic Party, was concerned that temporary spending would become permanent without offsets, adding to the debt. Republicans quelled their fears by asking the Congressional Budget Office to analyze a hypothetical Build Back Better bill in which every program was permanent—and not surprisingly, it appeared to have ballooned as a result.

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