President Biden delayed his flight to Rome on Thursday to visit Congress and stage a press appearance to pump up his revised “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation spending bill, now allegedly carrying a reduced price tag of $1.75 trillion. He said that the revised bill will be “fully paid for” and will not increase the deficit “at all.”
BIDEN: "It will not add to the deficit at all. It will actually reduce the deficit." pic.twitter.com/Ya46vkYIJi
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 28, 2021
Biden referred to the modified plan for the spending bill as a “historic economic framework.” He conceded that much of his original plan, which was anticipated to cost $3.5 trillion, had to be dropped from the bill due to negotiations with recalcitrant Democratic members.
Biden had hoped that his appearance on Capitol Hill and his speech would convince members of the House Progressive Caucus to vote on the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill already approved by the Senate before he left on his European trip.
The president could not convince the progressive caucus leader, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), to gather votes for the infrastructure bill before the final text of the revised reconciliation bill was available.
The White House also issued a press release that claims the revised spending bill will be “fully paid for.” Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain tweeted that the bill’s net cost is zero. He said the package raises “more than enough” in new tax revenue to pay for everything in the bill without increasing federal taxes for anyone who makes less than $400,000 per year.
That claim came minutes after Klain proudly declared that the new spending package is “twice as large” as Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
While the revised bill cut out plans for tuition-free community college, paid medical and family leave, and Medicare expansion, it retained an extension of the expanded child tax credit for one year, universal preschool, and climate tax credits.
Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said that he will continue to work on a bill he can support and added, “that’s all I have to say today.”
Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that he supports the House in withholding a vote on the infrastructure bill until the Senate has approved the reconciliation bill. He stated that the House has “a right to know that 50 US senators” support a bill they can accept.