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Senate Democrats Hand Biden a Win

Budget resolution approved on party-line vote
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 11, 2021 4:04 AM CDT
Updated Aug 11, 2021 6:55 AM CDT
Senate Democrats Hand Biden a Win
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives as the Senate moves from passage of the infrastructure bill to focus on a massive $3.5 trillion budget resolution, a blueprint of President Joe Biden's top domestic policy ambitions, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Democrats pushed a $3.5 trillion framework for bolstering family services, health, and environment programs through the Senate early Wednesday, advancing President Biden’s expansive vision for reshaping federal priorities just hours after handing him a companion triumph on a hefty infrastructure package. Lawmakers approved Democrats’ budget resolution on a party-line 50-49 vote, a crucial step for a president and party set on training the government’s fiscal might on assisting families, creating jobs and fighting climate change. Higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations would pay for much of it. Passage came despite an avalanche of Republican amendments intended to make their rivals pay a price in next year’s elections for control of Congress, the AP reports. House leaders announced their chamber will return from summer recess in two weeks to vote on the fiscal blueprint, which contemplates disbursing the $3.5 trillion over the next decade.

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Final congressional approval, which seems certain, would protect a subsequent bill actually enacting the outline’s detailed spending and tax changes from a Republican filibuster in the 50-50 Senate, delays that would otherwise kill it. Even so, passing that follow-up legislation will be dicey with party moderates wary of the massive $3.5 trillion price tag vying with progressives demanding aggressive action. The party controls the House with just three votes to spare, while the evenly divided Senate is theirs only due to Vice President Kamala Harris tie-breaking vote. Solid GOP opposition seems guaranteed. The Senate turned to the budget hours after it approved the other big chunk of Biden's objectives, a compromise $1 trillion bundle of transportation, water, broadband and other infrastructure projects. That measure, passed 69-30 with McConnell among the 19 Republicans backing it, also needs House approval. (The measure was approved around 4am Eastern, after a "vote-a-rama.")

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