Dems Attempt to Save Build Back Better
While our economy certainly needs help, more government programs and soaring federal debt will likely only make the problem worse.
From The Wall Street Journal. Democrats began a last-ditch effort to cobble together a narrower version of President Biden‘s once-sweeping economic agenda that could win the critical support of Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and hand the party a legislative victory ahead of the fall’s elections.
Mr. Manchin met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of a party-line package focused on raising taxes and reducing the budget deficit, and he convened a group of lawmakers from both parties on Monday to discuss ways to bolster energy production, another priority for Mr. Manchin.
Democrats see the coming weeks as a critical window to attempt to rescue their waylaid ambitions in the 50-50 Senate, where the party must rely on Mr. Manchin’s vote to achieve policy goals broadly opposed by Republicans. Mr. Manchin last year rejected a House-passed package for roughly $2 trillion in spending on healthcare, climate and child-care programs, dooming the plan dubbed Build Back Better. Democrats have since tiptoed around their prized policy goals in hopes of eventually settling on a compromise with the West Virginian.
With the midterm elections months away, many Democrats are eager to try to kick-start talks before campaign-season politics further complicate the effort—and before they possibly lose their thin control of the Senate and House….
Mr. Manchin has said he would support legislation focused on raising taxes, cutting the deficit, producing more energy in the U.S. and reducing the cost of prescription drugs. He has rejected various proposals to expand the social safety net, including creating a national paid-leave program and offering a more-generous child tax credit….
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration wouldn’t prejudge Mr. Manchin’s pursuit of a bipartisan energy plan. She said the White House would “continue to engage with a broad range of Democrats, including, of course, Sen. Manchin, about how to get the president’s agenda done.”
A White House official said that any bipartisan energy deal would have to meet the Biden administration’s goals on climate change and energy costs, adding that such a deal wouldn’t replace a separate party-line effort.
In his meeting with Mr. Schumer, Mr. Manchin said the pair discussed how to combat inflation, which is running at the highest level in four decades, by raising taxes and reducing the deficit. Reducing the deficit with tax increases could ease inflation by pulling money out of the economy.
Trying to reduce inflation has become a major preoccupation for Democrats as it has surged in the past year, weighing on the party’s poll numbers. Mr. Manchin said his concerns about inflation drove him to oppose the House-passed version of Build Back Better last year, and Democrats have scrambled for ways to show that they are taking on the issue.
Mr. Manchin said Democrats should pursue tax increases along party lines through a process called reconciliation, which allows lawmakers to skirt the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate. Republicans have vigorously opposed Democrats’ plans for raising taxes, which would reverse or change elements of the 2017 tax law the GOP ushered through Congress along party lines and implement crucial pieces of the global minimum corporate tax agreement that is a priority for the Biden administration….
Mr. Schumer, in his own remarks, said raising taxes is the best tool Democrats have to fight inflation….
Do you think the democrats will be able to execute their economic agenda before the midterms? How will out economy be affected? Share your thoughts and prayers in the comments.
(Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal. Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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