House Budget Committee votes to pass $ 3.5 trillion spending bill

The vote was 20-17, with Democratic Representative Scott Peters of California joining Republicans in voting against the bill. This was a necessary step for the bill to reach the entire House where it can be amended.

Democrats are struggling to push through President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, including the massive tax and spending bill that would expand support for education, health care and child care, tackle the climate crisis and invest more in infrastructure.

The bill has raised concerns among moderates who fear that some of the measures, including on drug prices and the climate, are going too far, as progressives say they have already compromised enough. Republicans are united in their opposition.

At its Saturday meeting, the House budget committee was unable to change what other committees have already voted to approve.

Where is Biden’s economic agenda?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is attempting to pass a separate, two-party infrastructure bill worth around $ 1 trillion on Monday, a month after it was passed by the Senate. But progressives are pushing for the Democratic caucus to finish drafting the $ 3.5 trillion measure first, which could shrink due to the wishes of moderates.
Although the White House and Democratic Congressional leaders earlier this week announced an agreement on a framework for a “menu of options” to fund the bills, Biden said on Friday that negotiations at Capitol Hill over his economic program were at a “dead end” because of acute disagreements. between moderate and progressive members of his party threaten to derail his plans.

The president told the White House on Friday that he was confident the Democrats would eventually come to a deal and sign the bipartisan infrastructure package – which includes funding for roads and bridges, money for transit and rail, a broadband upgrade and upgrade for airports, ports and waterways – as well as the $ 3.5 trillion package to extend the social safety net of the nation in law.

“Now we’re in this stalemate at the moment and we’re going to have to get these two laws passed. Both need to be passed,” Biden told reporters on Friday.

Democrats are scrambling to strike a deal while facing a series of deadlines this fall. Congress is also due to pass legislation by September 30 to fund the federal government and by mid-October to raise the debt ceiling to pay the country’s bills.

Senate Democrats want to pass a bill next week that addresses both of these issues on a bipartisan basis. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told them that if they wanted to pass new legislation costing billions of dollars, they would have to raise the debt ceiling themselves.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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