After compromising on the infrastructure plan by incorporating the Republicans agenda into it, now the Biden administration is up to passing another landmark financial plan, a $3.5 trillion budget.
The $3.5 trillion anti-poverty and pro-climate change budget plan was passed by Senate Democrats without any help from Republicans.
This $3.5 trillion budget will be spent in ten years and is evidence of President Joe Biden’s focus on climate change, health care, and family services.
This huge spending was bought forward without having any measure at increasing the debt limit.
The passing of this resolution is seen as the first big step in the implementation of the Biden-Harris agenda of a better United States, with less poverty and more protection from the rising threat of climate change.
The Senate’s $3.5 trillion budget is a remarkable step of the Biden administration, which will help the United States to recover from economic losses in the pandemic and build everything better.
However, another partisan tussle is on its way, as the plan has many things against Republican ambitions, which will ultimately create a congressional battle.
Democrats Economic Agenda in Action: An All-Inclusive, $3.5 Trillion Strategy
The environment, family services, and healthcare programs were on Biden’s hit list from day one.
However, the Republican hurdle has stopped them from pursuing it every time. This time, the resolution was passed with 50 votes as compared to 49 votes in opposition.
Higher taxes imposed on the rich will be used to pay for different developmental projects included in the $3.5 trillion resolutions, which Republicans will never vote for.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer assured the Progressive members of the Democratic Party that they would pursue more initiatives beyond the proposed program to gain their support for the final congressional approval of the plan.
This plan is in line with most of the progressives’ ideology, as Bernie Sanders has also endorsed it.
Whether or not this plan would backfire for Democrats, just like the other socialist measures, as Sean Patrick Maloney suggested, is a separate debate and would be eagerly pursued once the minor details of the plan are unveiled.
Republicans have already started crying foul, suggesting that most of these measures are an absolute waste of money.
A Test for Democratic Leadership to Bring Non-Compliant Democrats on Board
The budget resolution is to be approved by both houses before the reconciliation plan, which is expected to be drafted and considered in the fall.
Democrats need every Democrat on their side to pass the bill with reconciliation efforts for the approval of the budget.
Therefore, it is a test for democratic leadership to keep its members intact, including highly unpredictable Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, who are highly likely to put roadblocks in the passage of the bill.
Both of them have already voiced their concerns over the price tag of the resolution. Senator Kyrsten Sinema has said that she will not support a bill that will cost $3.5 trillion; however, she has signaled that she is open for negotiations.
Biden’s bid to pursue bipartisanship is also a challenge for the Senate Democrats, as the president can go the path of making Republicans happy instead of considering reconciliation as per his track record.
A Plan Having Something for Everything
The Democratic plan to invest the $3.5 trillion can be destructured into four major categories that include family services, climate change, infrastructure, and health care.
Along with these major categories, a huge portion will also be spent on jobs and education.
Under the resolution recently passed by Democrats, the $3.5 trillion will be distributed among different committees in the Senate for the enactment of certain policies.
- The Finance Committee will get $1 billion, which will empower the committee to make investments and decisions as per the policy requirements.
- $726 billion will be given to the health care, labor, education, and pensions committee that will be invested in education for grants, health care to provide free facilities, job training, and Civilian Climate Corps funding.
- $322 billion will be provided to the Banking Committee for housing programs and community investment.
- Energy Committee will get $198 billion to invest in the production of clean energy sources.
- Agriculture Committee will get $135 billion for forestation and decreasing carbon emission.
- $107 billion will be invested by the Judiciary Committee for lawful permanent status of qualified immigrants and improvement of border control.
- $83 billion will be awarded to Commerce Committee for investing in scientific and technological exploration.
- $67 billion will be given to the Environment and Public Works Committee for the production of solar-powered technologies.
- Homeland Security Committee will get $37 billion for electrification of federal buildings and improvement of cybersecurity.
- $25 billion will be given to the Small Businesses Committee for investment and aid to small businesses.
- Indian Affairs Committee will get $20.5 billion to invest in the health care and education of the native population.
- Veteran Affairs Committee will receive $18 billion for the up-gradation of facilities.
Almost all the included sectors include provisions that are against the Republican agenda. As tackling climate change is the frontline agenda of this bill, the climate-skeptic Republicans, as shown by their track record, would be resistant to vote in its favor.
The same goes for health care services, as Republicans are against government spending in the health care sector.
Despite not having enough numbers to pass the bill without the filibuster, the key to passing the bill lies in the hands of the Democrats, as the reconciliation process can help them achieve the goal without any bipartisan support, only if Biden wants to go that route.