Chuck Schumer Tells Democrats To Find Common Ground On Bidens Social Bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged fellow Democrats to "find the common ground" as the party struggles to unite over President Joe Biden's social package.

Democrats have been battling over the future of the bill with progressives within the party who are holding on to the bill's original $3.5 trillion price tag. But in an effort to get the bill through Congress, more moderate party members are proposing lowering the sum to $2 trillion.

Biden's deal entails Democratic initiatives, including new options for social services, expanded health care, child care, education and climate change mitigation strategies.

"As with any bill of such historic proportions, not every member will get everything he or she wants," Schumer wrote in a letter to party members.

Schumer warned Democrats Thursday to "put aside our differences" in order to reach consensus.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spurred decision-making before the self-imposed Oct. 31 deadline for passage, the Associated Press reported.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Quarreling Dems in Congress must find compromise
Schumer's letter to colleagues comes as quarreling progressive leaders in Congress struggle to compromise on Biden's social policies. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walks towards the House Chamber to convene the House for legislative business at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

Progressive leaders in their own letter to Pelosi, Biden and Schumer, argued the package should not simply be narrowed as centrist lawmakers prefer, but instead kept as Biden's bigger vision but for fewer than 10 years — "shorter, transformative investments" that could be started quickly and then revisited.

"Much has been made in recent weeks about the compromises necessary to enact this transformative agenda," wrote Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and other leaders of the 96-member progressive caucus in their Wednesday letter.

"We have been told that we can either adequately fund a small number of investments or legislate broadly, but only make a shallow, short-term impact. We would argue that this is a false choice."

Republicans are dead set against the package. So Biden and his party are left to deliberate among themselves, with all eyes still on two key holdouts, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, whose votes are crucial in the evenly divided Senate.

But that is leading to tough questions: Should Biden keep the sweep of his proposals — free childcare and community college; dental, vision and hearing aid benefits for seniors — or scale back to a few key health and education programs that could be more permanent?

The progressives have held great sway so far in the debate, but unless Manchin and Sinema come on board, there is no clear path to a deal, risking its collapse.

In their letter Wednesday, the progressives said their constituents are depending on them to deliver on the far-ranging package of health care, childcare, family leave, education and other investments, including those to fight climate change.

The idea, the progressives said, is start the programs "as quickly as possible," but for shorter durations, with lawmakers free to campaign in the future for their renewal.

"This will help make the case for our party's ability to govern, and establish a track record of success that will pave the way for a long-term extension of benefit," they wrote.

They also argued against linking the programs to low or modest income levels, saying all Americans should be able to benefit.

Despite the rising ranks of progressives in the House, Pelosi has appeared to side with some of the more centrist lawmakers, who are among those most at risk of losing their seats, and the party's slim hold on the majority, in next year's midterm elections.

"Overwhelmingly, the guidance I am receiving from members is to do fewer things well," Pelosi said in her own letter this week to colleagues.

The moderate lawmakers have argued that it would better to narrow the scope of the legislation and make any changes more lasting.

Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington state, chair of the New Democrat Coalition, made that case during a meeting of moderate lawmakers last month at the White House.

The group has focused on just a few main priorities, including two that emerged in the COVID-19 aid packages — extending the child tax credits that are funneling about $300 a month to most families but expire in December, and making permanent the higher health care subsidies that were offered during the pandemic to those who buy their insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Those moderates also want to expand the ACA into states, largely those run by Republican governors, that have rejected it under previous federal funding proposals.

Time is growing short for the president on his signature domestic policy initiative, which has consumed much of his fitful first year in office.

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Source : https://www.newsweek.com/chuck-schumer-tells-democrats-find-common-ground-bidens-social-bill-1639096

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Chuck Schumer Tells Democrats to Find Common Ground on Bidens Social Bill

Source:Newsweek

Chuck Schumer Tells Democrats to Find Common Ground on Bidens Social Bill

President Biden tells Republicans to ‘get out of the way’ on debt limit

Source:syracuse.com

President Biden tells Republicans to ‘get out of the way’ on debt limit