President Biden declared Thursday he has reached a “historic economic framework” with Democrats in Congress on his sweeping domestic policy package, a dramatically scaled-back deal announced hours before he departs for overseas summits, per the AP. Biden's remarks at the White House came after he traveled to Capitol Hill to make the case to House Democrats for the still robust domestic package—$1.75 trillion of social services and climate change programs the White House believes can pass the 50-50 Senate. “It will fundamentally change the lives of millions of people for the better,” Biden said at the White House.
Together with a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill heading for final votes as soon as Thursday, Biden told lawmakers it would be a domestic achievement greater than those from Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson. “I need your votes,” Biden told the lawmakers earlier, according to a person who requested anonymity to discuss the private remarks. Biden was eager to have a deal in hand before departing later in the day for global summits. But the revised package has lost some of the Democrats’ top priorities as the president’s ambitions make way for the political realities of the narrowly divided Congress.
- Out: Paid family leave and efforts to lower prescription drug pricing are now gone entirely from the package, according to senior administration officials.
- Still in the mix: Free prekindergarten for all youngsters, expanded health care programs—including the launch of a $35 billion new hearing aid benefit for people with Medicare—and $555 billion to tackle climate change. There's also a one-year extension of a child care tax credit that was put in place during the COVID-19 rescue and new child care subsidies. An additional $100 billion to bolster the immigration and border processing system could boost the overall package to $1.85 trillion if it clears Senate rules.
- The Hill has a comprehensive look at what's in and what's out.
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