Government Connection

Senate Democrats Agree on $3.5 Trillion Budget Reconciliation Bill for Broad Healthcare and Antipoverty Plan

Senate Democrats on the Budget Committee agreed to set a $3.5 trillion top-line spending level for a bill to carry most of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda into law without Republican support. Democrats on the committee had been divided about the size and scope of the package, with Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) initially pushing a $6 trillion measure that added an expansion of Medicare, immigration reform, more generous childcare benefits and more to Biden’s proposal. The Budget Committee agreement includes the Medicare expansion, marking a significant win for Sanders. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a moderate, said the bill would be “fully paid for.” Senate Democrats did not detail the tax increases that would be part of this effort, but Senator Sanders said "The wealthy and large corporations are going to pay their fair share of taxes so that we can protect the working families of this country." Republicans oppose any rolling back of tax cuts, which were achieved in their signature 2017 tax reform law, to finance Biden's infrastructure initiatives. The agreement will allow the Senate Budget Committee to advance the resolution to the Senate floor with instructions for the future tax-and-spend package, using the same tool Republicans used to bypass a filibuster of the 2017 tax law.

July 15, 2021

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