Joe Biden and Democrats close to an economic package deal

Pramila Jayapal with other progressive lawmakers after a meeting with President Biden.

Pramila Jayapal with other progressive lawmakers after a meeting with President Biden.

Photo: Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

President Joe biden met with groups of House and Senate Democrats in the White House on Tuesday as his administration works to bridge the gap between the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party about the components of your financial aid plan to expand the social safety net and economic development of the country.

Biden, together with the vice president Kamala harris and the Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, He first sat down with nine progressive lower house lawmakers to discuss his legislative agenda, according to the White House. The legislators who attended were the representatives Katherine clark from Massachusetts, Ro khanna from California and Pramila Jayapal Washington, director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, among others.

Then, a meeting was held with another group of moderate legislators from the House and Senate, the White House said. Among the eight attendees at the subsequent meeting are the senators Jon tester from Montana and Mark Warner from Virginia, and Congressman Josh gottheimer from New Jersey, who co-chairs the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

At the center of the stagnation of the economic development plan proposed by Biden there is the battle for its current value of $ 3.5 trillion.

Democratic lawmakers pledged to overcome political differences and disputes that have trapped the president’s economic agenda Biden for months, raising new hope that Congress and the White House could soon vote on the trillion-dollar economic development plan with long-promised new federal spending.

The new ray of hope came after another day of private conversations between Biden and the liberal and moderate factions at war, of his own party. From these and other meetings, Democratic leaders emerged again optimistic that they could reach an agreement as soon as this week, on a review of the amounts required in the plan for health, education, climate and taxes.

“There was a universal, universal agreement in that room, that we have to reach an agreement, and we have to do it and we want to do it this week,” said the Senate Majority Leader. Charles schumer after one of the meetings, a long lunch that he later described as “lively.”

Progressive Democrats, led by Senator Bernie sanders (I-Vt.) And the representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), have sought up to $ 3.5 billion dollars for a package that expands Medicare benefits, invests new sums to combat global warming, and provides paid leave and tax credits to workers and their families, for ten years.

Speaking for the progressive caucus, the rep Pramila Jayapal He said members felt positive about their negotiations with the president. “We feel good”. Jayapal said progressives narrowed their demands to five priorities and believed the majority would go into the bill.

Jayapal said the president has been consistent about his final numbers: between $ 1.9-2.2 billion dollars for the economic and social development plan.

But two key centrists, the senators Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) and Kyrsten sinema (D-Ariz.), Have opposed the general cost and vast political scope of the economic development plan favored by their liberal counterparts and by the White House. Biden met with them as well, separately, on Tuesday.

Manchin has specifically lobbied for a package closer to $ 1.5 trillion., forcing moderate and progressive members of Congress to make what they consider unacceptable concessions. Instead, some in the party believe that a $ 2 trillion proposal is more realistic, although they have yet to sell Manchin and Sinema on the idea.

These meetings of the president Biden they are the latest in a series of efforts to negotiate an agreement between moderates and progressives on the size and scope of their social spending package.

With information from The Washington Post, CBS News and agencies


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