Biden Works To Heal Democrat Divisions On $3.5 Trillion Social Spending Bill
President Joe Biden’s massive $3.5 trillion reconciliation package faces peril as Democrats in the House and Senate remain divided on the scope of the spending plan.
“If any member of Congress is not concerned that this could fall apart, they need treatment,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri). “Our caucus has the feeling of freedom to support or oppose leadership.”
With moderate Democrats pushing back against Biden’s domestic agenda, several House members fighting the prescription drugs overhaul and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) seeking to expand Medicare, Democrats find themselves at loggerheads on a number of fronts. The internal debate could have serious ramifications for Biden’s proposed policy changes if they can’t come to a consensus soon.
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) commented on the struggles facing the fragmented party. “I wish that we could all be more on the same page, in terms of timing, of the need to push the [American Families Plan],” she said. “I’m hopeful we are going to have a meeting of the minds and not wait until next year… we better have a Plan B.”
“You can’t stop this process. If you stop it, it won’t get started again. You’ve really got to keep it moving, there’s no magic date, but as you get closer and closer to other deadlines, this one gets more difficult,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland).