WASHINGTON, D.C. – A big win early Wednesday for President Biden’s “human infrastructure” package. But it comes with a hefty price tag and no Republican support.
The U.S. Senate approving a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget resolution, paving the way for some of Biden’s top priorities to pass Congress later this year.
“The Democratic budget will bring a generational transformation to how the economy works for average Americans,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
So, what’s inside the framework? Democrats want to expand education funding, including universal pre-k and free community college tuition for two years; paid parental and family leave; Medicare expansion, including lowering the eligibility age and dental, hearing, and vision benefits; along with a sweeping list of climate change legislation.
The need for much of this, most Democrats argue, is highlighted by the pandemic.
“Millions of women, especially, have left the workforce to take care of children who weren’t in school, families, etc.,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “So, there will be paid family leave. There will be child care support.”
Budget reconciliation is a legislative shortcut in the senate that allows one party to pass a bill using just a simple majority and avoid the filibuster. That means Democrats won’t need Republican support to pass this.
“The policies they want to put behind this budget resolution read like somebody walked across the rotunda to the House and handed the Squad a pen and piece of paper,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Senate Democrats still need to write the actual bill. House Democrats have also announced they will cut their August recess short and bring members back to vote on the Senate’s framework, the week of August 23.
The vote on the $3.5 trillion framework came just hours after a rare bipartisan vote on the $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure package earlier Tuesday.
“All of those investments that are critical to lowering the cost for families, those issues can now be dealt with separately,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).