Chuck Schumer Pulls Ahead With $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill

Chuck Schumer Pulls Ahead With $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill

( – Washington, DC is still at odds over President Joe Biden’s spending ambitions. Democrats haven’t managed to get Republicans on board with the $3.5-trillion proposal currently on the table and are therefore trying to bypass the Senate filibuster using budget reconciliation. That action could get the bill onto President Biden’s desk without a single GOP vote. However, that would require the approval of every Democratic Senator, of which there’s no guarantee.

Manchin Digs His Heels In

Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (WV) indicated he would only back a spending bill costing $1.5 trillion or less. Though sources in his office said he might stretch to $2 trillion, this amount remains a long way short of the $3.5-trillion price tag left-leaning Democrats have agreed on.

Manchin also thinks Democrats should stall progress on the bill, citing concerns about inflation and the quantity of money the federal government has spent since the onset of the pandemic.

Of course, some Democrats see $3.5 trillion as an unreasonably small sum. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reminds us the figure resulted from “a major, major compromise,” implying he’d have backed a much more expensive package.

Schumer Presses On

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appears to fall on Sanders’ side. On Wednesday, September 8, he announced he wanted to move “full-speed ahead” toward passing the legislation. To this end, he has told around 12 congressional committees to finish working on draft portions of the bill by September 15, mere days away.

Over in the House, representatives are scheduled to take up the $1-trillion infrastructure bill, which the Senate has passed, on or before September 27. However, House progressives say they won’t support the bill unless the $3.5-trillion bill accompanies it, putting pressure on the Senate to move on the larger proposal.

Unfortunately for far-left Democrats in both the House and Senate, it looks like Manchin holds all the cards at the moment. The Senate is currently split 50/50, which means every Democrat needs to vote for the reconciliation proposal to pass. The West Virginia senator has the leverage to make demands of his party, should he so desire.

These spending proposals have been achingly slow in their progress through Congress. With deadlines looming, the likely outcome of the process is as unclear as ever.

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