Senate Democrats Reach $3.5 Trillion Budget Deal

Senate Democrats announced Tuesday night that they have reached an agreement on a $3.5 trillion budget plan, including plans to address climate change and the expansion of Medicare, that they plan to push alongside a bipartisan infrastructure deal.

The measure, combined with nearly $600 billion in new spending on infrastructure, is intended to deliver on President Biden’s $4 trillion economic proposal, the New York Times reports. This would pave the way for a partisan bill that Democrats plan to push through using reconciliation.

Democrats would have to rally every member of the party to sign on the new legislation in order for it to pass, as no Republicans are expected to approve of the deal.

The agreement, reached among Chuck Schumer and the 11 senators who caucus with the Democrats on the Budget Committee, including Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, came after a second day of meetings.

“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.”

The resolution is expected to contain language prohibiting tax increases on small businesses and people making less than $400,000. Schumer also said the resolution would call for an expansion of Medicare to provide for dental, vision and hearing benefits.

“Every major program” requested by Biden would be “funded in a robust way,” Schumer said.

Democrats’ goal is to push a budget resolution reflecting Tuesday’s agreement through the House and Senate before lawmakers leave for their August recess. The resolution sets only broad spending and revenue parameters, leaving the actual funding and specific decisions about which programs are affected — and by exactly how much — for later legislation.

 

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