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

Progressives in U.S. Congress open to cutting cost, not scope, of Biden bill

GlobalOct 12, 2021 18:31
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rep. Pramila Jayapal, (D-WA), speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on "Online Platforms and Market Power" in the Rayburn House office building on Capitol Hill, in Washingto 2/2

By Richard Cowan, Susan Cornwell and Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Congress progressives on Tuesday signaled a new willingness to shrink the cost, but not the scope, of President Joe Biden's multi-trillion-dollar plan to broaden social programs and tackle climate change, as they struggle to reach a deal with party moderates.

Centrist Democrats have balked at the plan's initial $3.5 trillion price tag. As a result, Biden faces a difficult balancing act in trying to bring down the cost but not alienate progressives who also are essential to passage.

Following a meeting earlier this month on Capitol Hill with his fellow Democrats, Biden suggested the bill could cost around $2 trillion over 10 years.

"We are prepared to negotiate," Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who aligns with Democrats, told reporters on a Tuesday conference call.

He initially sought a $6 trillion bill.

But Sanders drew the line on one initiative -- including the cost of elderly patients' vision, hearing and dental care covered under Medicare. "This to me is not negotiable," he said.

Sanders added that time is overdue for centrist Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to tell the rest of the party what they want in the bill, which is the centerpiece of President Biden's domestic agenda.

The head of the Congressional Progressive (NYSE:PGR) Caucus, Representative Pramila Jayapal, complained that moderates had not articulated a clear position.

Among its provisions are expansions of healthcare for children and the elderly and significant investments in clean technology for everything from electric power generating plants to electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions responsible for climate change.

"We are waiting for just a couple of senators to tell us what their proposal is," Jayapal said.

Over the past day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave conflicting signals as to whether Democrats would cut specific programs or try to adjust timing to pare the bill's cost.

A spokesman said on Tuesday there were discussions of doing both.

Jayapal said that her nearly 100-member Progressive Caucus has made clear that it supports maintaining all the bill's main priorities but could go along with reducing the number of years they would be effective.

For example, she said the legislation could authorize free community college, child care and other programs for less than 10 years. But she said that climate change measures were needed for at least a decade.

Biden is due to travel to Glasgow in coming weeks for a United Nations climate meeting. Democrats would like to complete work on this massive bill by the end of October so that he can arrive armed with a significant set of climate goals enacted into U.S. law.

The $150 billion Clean Electricity Payment Program, which would reward utilities that add more clean energy capacity like wind and solar power and fine those that do not, is one example of that, Jayapal said. "Because it's a market-driven program there are real arguments for keeping that to 10 years," she said.

Democrats are trying get Manchin's support for the electric program, which he has long opposed, by boosting tax credits for coal and natural gas power plants that capture and store carbon dioxide.

Both programs could support Biden's climate goals of decarbonizing the U.S. power grid by 2035 and the wider economy by 2050.

Democrats plan to employ a special "budget reconciliation" tool to spirit their legislation through Congress without support from Republicans, who normally can use their minority status to block bills.

Progressives in U.S. Congress open to cutting cost, not scope, of Biden bill
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with 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
  • 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.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. 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.
 
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