Democrats all-in on the largest budget in history, but passage is far from certain

By Andrew Trunsky

Congressional committees began meeting Tuesday to formally draft Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget, moving ahead with the sweeping bill that contains much of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda even as its passage remains anything but certain.

The bill as contrived could affect Americans at nearly every stage of their lives, from provisions adopting free or affordable child care to Medicare expansions. But the package, which also includes two years of higher education for most students, expanded child tax credits for young families and expansive climate change mitigation measures, faces multiple obstacles — including some set by Democrats themselves.

First and foremost is the makeup of Congress itself. Republicans unanimously oppose the bill, labeling it as nothing more than socialism, and Democrats have just three votes to spare in the House and none in the Senate, leaving them almost no room for error.

Wikimedia Commons/Matt Johnson

“No SALT, no deal” remarks by New York Democratic Rep. Thomas Suozzi stand in opposition to comments by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who said in May, “It sends a terrible, terrible message when you have Republicans telling us that this is a tax break for the rich. You have got to make it clear which side you are on – and you can’t be on the side of the wealthy and powerful if you’re really going to fight for working families.”

That makes objections from moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema all the more powerful. Even though the package can skirt a Senate filibuster under a process called budget reconciliation, 48 votes would leave the budget two shy of the simple majority needed to reach Biden’s desk.

“I urge my colleagues to seriously consider this reality as this budget process unfolds in the coming weeks and months,” Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said after the House advanced the budget framework in August. “It is simply irresponsible to continue spending at levels more suited to respond to a Great Depression or Great Recession – not an economy that is on the verge of overheating.”

He was even more explicit Thursday, calling on his Democratic colleagues to “pause” on the budget as Congress responds to a chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, multiple natural disasters and an already grueling schedule ahead.

“Hit the pause button,” Manchin said. “Let’s sit back. Let’s see what happens. We have so much on our plate. We really have an awful lot. I think that would be the prudent, wise thing to do.”

A Sinema spokesman minced her words even less. “Proceedings in the U.S. House will have no impact on Kyrsten’s views about what is best for the country – including the fact that she will not support a budget reconciliation bill that costs $3.5 trillion,” he said in August.

Other provisions in the budget may also prove divisive among Democrats not publicly opposed to its overall size. For example, it aims to enable Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, potentially saving the program billions that Democrats want to use to incorporate vision, dental and hearing coverage for those on it.

While the overwhelming majority of Democrats support it, 10 in the House went on-record opposing. The group, though making up less than five percent of their caucus, is big enough to potentially tank the bill.

“It’s a better problem to have a cure or therapy that’s expensive and have to figure out how to get it to people than it is not to have the cure at all,” they wrote in May.

Intraparty divisions have also emerged over state and local tax deductions, with several moderates from affluent districts calling for the cap on them to be fully repealed, breaking from their progressive colleagues.

“No SALT, no deal,” Rep. Thomas Suozzi, whose district sits just outside New York City, said Tuesday.

His remarks stand in total opposition from comments that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee who wrote the bill’s framework, said in May.

“It sends a terrible, terrible message when you have Republicans telling us that this is a tax break for the rich,” he said. “You have got to make it clear which side you are on – and you can’t be on the side of the wealthy and powerful if you’re really going to fight for working families.

As written, however, the budget would repeal the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions adopted in 2017.

Progressives and moderates have also split on procedure itself. In addition to the budget, Democrats are trying to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill before surface transportation funds expire on Oct. 1, and the two separate wings have broken over which should be addressed first.

While the moderates called on the House to clear the infrastructure bill first, noting the limited window and that the Senate passed it on Aug. 10, progressives have insisted that it wait until the budget is passed. As tensions rose, each wing threatened to oppose their nonpreferred bill if their side did not get its way.

“We are firmly opposed to holding the president’s infrastructure legislation hostage to reconciliation, risking its passage and the bipartisan support behind it,” nine moderate lawmakers wrote in August.

After an hours-long standoff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brokered a compromise advancing both simultaneously and setting up a final infrastructure vote on Sept. 27. That agreement, however, did little to guarantee passage.

“Our position remains unchanged,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat from New York, wrote after the agreement passed. “We’ll only vote for the infrastructure bill when the House passes a reconciliation package that delivers on overdue promises – like lowering drug prices, fighting climate change, supporting childcare & providing vision & dental care to seniors.”

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Images courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr and Wikimedia Commons/Matt Johnson

6 thoughts on “Democrats all-in on the largest budget in history, but passage is far from certain

  1. Dem/Progs were hugely pi..ed, when Hillary, the officially PREDICTED winner (to get the US people used to the idea, of a fait accompli), did NOT win in 2016.

    Dem/Progs vowed to never let this happen again.

    In 2020, they grabbed a huge opportunity, using COVID as an excuse.

    They called it UNIVERSAL BALLOT MAIL-IN, and UNIVERSAL BALLOT HARVESTING, aka huge fraud opportunities.

    They vowed, this time, they were going to win, no matter what.

    Dem/Progs got a familiar, not-so-smart, figurehead, i.e., a well-known insider, 79-y-old Biden, who graduated near the bottom of the class at Syracuse Law School, one of the lowest-ranked in the US.

    They got a scary VP, with a big smile. She is of India-Haiti descent.

    Biden had run two times for President, and WITHDREW, each time under a cloud; plagiarizing and corruption/self-dealing were the main issues.

    Smart Dem/Progs kept Biden in his basement, in Delaware, before the 2020 Election.

    He was allowed to smile and wave from a distance, but NOT to answer any Media questions, or opine on anything, without reading from a carefully scripted teleprompter.

    After the Dem/Prog coup d’etat was completed, and Biden was safely installed as President, Dem/Progs gave him a pen, to sign a host of previously prepared executive orders, EOs, he had not read. The Media were present to record/distribute the event for all to see.

    He was under TOTAL Dem/Prog control, most of the time.
    He had a tendency to just wander off.

    On election day, there was sheer panic at about 10 PM.
    TRUMP WAS TOO FAR AHEAD!!

    On the second, most infamous day in US history, Dem/Progs just stopped the counting in swing states, so they could go into a huddle to “evaluate and regroup”, i.e., RAMP UP THE FRAUD

    The subsequent fraud was off the charts. See NOTE

    Dem/Progs declared “victory” and billed 75 million of Trump voters ore losers, who were not ready “to move on”

    Dem/Progs opened the borders to change the US demographics in favor of Dem/Progs, and cement Dem/Prog “victories” forever.

    NOTE: In case you are doubtful of the FRAUD, because of the repetitive crap the Media has been feeding you, here is PROOF of LARGE-SCALE mail-in ballot FRAUD perpetrated several MONTHS BEFORE the 2020 Election. See URL

    PREPARATION OF 288,000 MAIL-IN BALLOTS IN BETHPAGE, NY FOR USE IN PENNSYLVANIA MONTHS BEFORE THE ELECTION
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/preperation-of-288-000-mail-in-ballots-in-bethpage-ny-for-use-in

    This article describes a multi-month project, started about August 2020, to fabricate up to 288,000 fake mail-in ballots near Bethpage, Long Island, NY, for use during the 2020 Election in Pennsylvania, a swing state.

  2. Fore decades, Bernie has declared himself a Communist/Socialist
    He celebrated his honeymoon in the USSR, more than 30-years ago.
    The Russian Commie pros played him like a fiddle. Made him feel important.
    He lapped it up.

    Bernie SAYS the $3.5 TRILLION boondoggle is a DOWN PAYMENT for:

    1) Many decades of CLIMATE FIGHTING (tilting at wind mills), PLUS to
    2) Install social justice in the US, as defined by Dem/Progs.

    The real purpose is to create a vast array on NEW government programs, and to EXPAND existing ones, all run by Dem/Progs friends and family.

    The Socialistic, do-goodie government programs would bribe the inhabitants of Dem/Prog-controlled cities to vote Dem/Prog, FOREVER.

    Simultaneously OPENING THE BORDERS is just a part of the plan to shift US DEMOGRAPHICS towards Dem/Progs, FOREVER.

    “Global warming fighting” has nothing to do with reducing the world temperature, because mankind’s very puny efforts would completely pale, compared to the daily energy input from the sun.

    This is all about centralized command/control of all phases of our lives, while all others are mandated to toil and pay taxes to meet the increasingly nutty RE MANDATES of Dem/Progs

    About half the world population is more or less exempt from the 2015 Paris agreements.

    John Kerry flies his private jets worldwide, spewing CO2, while playing the role of climate TSAR; hypocrisy in spades.

    Bernie refuses to fly, except first class, or on borrowed private planes, to collect his exorbitant speaking fees to fatten his tax-free foundation, just like the elite Clinton duo.

    Life is getting better and better for elite Dem/Progs.

    Did not Obama buy a $15 million spread in Martha’s Vineyard, which is IN ADDITION to his OTHER houses?

    The $3.5 TRILLION boondoggle would hugely increase the role of Government in the US economy.

    Senator Manchin has just stated he will NOT vote for anything greater than $1.5 TRILLION.
    That was a mistake
    He should have reduced the $1.5 TRILLION to ZERO

    NOTE: General Michael Hayden wants to participate in ethic cleansing and demographics shifting.
    The Bush-era NSA chief, stated on Twitter, “Its a good Idea to bring planes full of Afghanistans to the US, and fill the planes with unvaccinated Trump supporters for transport to Afghanistan, to then get more Afghanistans for transport to the US”.

    Where I come from, that is ethical and moral TREASON.

    That nutcase was in charge of the NSA, which is the spy agency that whistleblower Snowdon worked for.

    • Yes Jim it’s the Cloward Piven leftist strategy for bankrupting the country..

      When commies socialist and leftist all agree you can be sure it’s NOT good
      for the country.. As we’ve been seeing and most have known for the last 40 odd years anything biden is doing is the wrong way to do it and this debt for the children is full of wrong to the brim..The 3 millionaire stooges representing this (use to be) Frugal state should be ashamed of their support of this colossal waste of assets.

  3. The Salt deduction limit argument is so ironic. When the Republicans tax reform bill was passed in late 2017, most reps from the high tax states (CA, NY, NJ, etc.) went bananas over it. Oh how terrible to limit a deduction that only a small percentage (generally the “wealthy”) can actually use. Vermont was very quite about it however. That is because only a few years before that was when the VT legislature got rid of the state income tax deduction on state returns.

    So now we have a bunch of democrats pushing for a break for the “rich” IN THE SAME BILL that they are trying to screw the rich even more than they already have. The work HYPOCRISY does not begin to describe this departure from reason.

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