Republicans wasted no time in criticizing Democrats’ $3.5tn proposal, arguing that the plan would cause prices to rise in the US.
Congressman Jason Smith, the top Republican on the House budget committee, directly tied the new proposal to the labor department’s latest report showing inflation growth hit a 13-year high last month.
“The very same day we find out that year over year inflation growth is the highest it’s been in over 10 years, Democrats are proposing throwing trillions more of inflation fueled logs on the fire,” Smith said in a statement.
“The political leaders in Washington and President Biden are failing the working class families who can least afford it.”
But again, Democrats do not need any Republican support to pass their reconciliation bill. They simply need all Senate Democrats and almost all House Democrats to vote in favor of the package — although that will likely be hard enough on its own.
Joe Biden will also meet this afternoon with a bipartisan group of governors and mayors to discuss the importance of passing the bipartisan infrastructure framework.
Democratic congressional leaders have a long to-do list for the month of July. They are hoping to turn the bipartisan framework into a bill and get it passed, while also advancing their reconciliation package to cover more of Biden’s legislative priorities.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has already warned that the upper chamber’s work may spill over into the August recess, which would irritate members on both sides of the aisle.
In a letter to his Democratic colleagues last week, Schumer warned, “Please be advised that time is of the essence and we have a lot of work to do. Senators should be prepared for the possibility of working long nights, weekends, and remaining in Washington into the previously-scheduled August state work period.”
Senators will likely discuss the timeline for passing the two infrastructure bills when Biden visits Capitol Hill today for Senate Democrats’ weekly policy lunch.
Biden to visit Capitol to discuss Democrats’ $3.5tn infrastructure plan
Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.
Joe Biden will travel from the White House to Capitol Hill today to attend the Senate Democratic caucus’s weekly lunch.
The discussion among the president and senators will focus on the $3.5tn “human infrastructure” plan that Democrats released last night.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said Biden would attend the lunch “to lead us on to getting this wonderful plan” passed.
“We are very proud of this plan,” Schumer said. “We know we have a long road to go. We’re going to get this done for the sake of making average Americans’ lives a whole lot better.”
Democrats plan to pass the plan using reconciliation, meaning they can pass the package with a simple majority and do not need any Republican support.
But the proposal still has some roadblocks ahead. The overall price tag is much less than the $6tn that progressive senators Bernie Sanders, who chairs the budget committee, had pushed for.
However, the proposal also includes a Medicare expansion to include dental, vision and hearing benefits, which has been a top priority for progressives.
Biden and Schumer will need to keep all members of the Senate Democratic caucus on board to get the bill passed. Today marks the first test of whether they can do so. Stay tuned.