UPDATE 2-US Democrats set to strike deal on price for Biden’s social bill, says Manchin
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By David Morgan and Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON, Oct.21 (Reuters) – Democrats are set to agree on a global price for the ambitious expansion of social programs by US President Joe Biden, centrist Senator Joe Manchin said Thursday, although there is no guarantee that they will come to an agreement.
They spent months discussing the size and scope of what was originally proposed as a $ 3.5 trillion plan to extend the social safety net and tackle climate change, which the Main Democrats agreed to this. week that it would be removed https://www.reuters.com / article / us-usa-biden-infrastructure-details-fact-idUSKBN2HA29X to well below $ 2,000 billion.
Manchin – who, along with fellow moderate senator Kyrsten Sinema, lobbied for a smaller package – said he believed Democratic negotiators could agree on a final figure by Friday. This would resolve a key sticking point, although progressives and moderates would still have to work out the substance of the bill, including what programs to keep, what to cut, and for how long to fund them.
“We are looking at everything today and tomorrow and hopefully we can have a framework: we agree or disagree and (it’s) either irreconcilable or it’s something we can resolve.” Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill.
âI think we’re getting closer to organizing a high-end figure,â he said.
Democratic Senator Jon Tester also said lawmakers were close to a final price.
“That’s what will get us going. You get the number on the front line, we’re ready,” Tester told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Biden told lawmakers on Tuesday he believed he could get Manchin and Sinema to agree on a figure between $ 1.75 and $ 1.9 trillion, according to a source close to the talks, who requested anonymity.
Reaching that number would mean giving up on priorities, including a plan to offer all Americans the opportunity to take two years of free community college, and cut others like a child tax credit and funds for the child. affordable housing.
Disagreements over the scope of the bill delayed Biden’s national platform, with progressives in the House of Representatives refusing to vote for a $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill already passed by the Senate until that an agreement be reached on social programs and climate change.
Taxes also remain a sticking point; Sinema told the White House she would not support Biden’s proposed rate hikes for high net worth businesses and individuals. The White House told some Democrats this week https://www.reuters.com/world/us/white-house-tells-democrats-corporate-tax-hike-unlikely-congressional-source-2021-10-20 that business tax hikes may be dead.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the final package could not contain any increase in tax rates. She said her priority remained a deal that could be passed by both the Senate and the House, where Democrats hold a narrow majority. Other details – like whether the package will include clean energy incentives or a child tax credit – remain secondary as long as they get Biden’s approval, she said.
“If it is acceptable to him, in light of the bill, it is acceptable to me,” she said during a press briefing.
During a visit to his hometown of Scranton, Pa. On Wednesday, Biden said https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-heads-birthplace-tout-infrastructure-spending-packages-2021- 10-20 the social spending legislation, plus the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill, would create 2 million jobs per year for 20 years and not increase the deficit.
(Reporting by David Morgan and Richard Cowan; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Tim Gardner; writing by Andy Sullivan; editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)