Democrats Say They Agree On A Loose Framework To Pay For Their Spending Agenda

23September 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen update reporters Thursday on Democratic efforts to pass President Biden’s spending agenda.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The White House and congressional Democrats have reached an agreement on a framework to pay for a final spending package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Thursday.

But that’s where the details stopped. Pelosi and Schumer didn’t offer any specifics on the framework or the amount of revenue they seek to get to pay for the measure.

The remarks at a news conference came after President Biden met with nearly two dozen congressional Democrats on Wednesday to discuss the spending package, which contains the bulk of his domestic agenda.

Biden is calling for $3.5 trillion in spending on his social policy goals, but some more moderate Democratic members of Congress oppose that level of spending.

Biden had endorsed “all” of the options outlined Thursday by Pelosi and Schumer, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. Psaki called the framework a “menu of revenue raisers” that will pay for the spending agreement.

She added that the White House will let the process of what’s in the package play out.

She said that “there is broad unity on the importance of lowering costs for Americans” on an array of issues, including child care and elder care, universal pre-kindergarten and the cost of college.

Such announcements are aimed, at least in part, at pressuring people within the broad Democratic tent to give up their divisions and get on board and send the message that everyone’s demands are being heard.

Democrats have been under pressure to make progress on a number of fronts, including keeping the government funded past this month and raising the debt limit.

Senate Republicans said they’ll support the federal spending extension but not the debt limit measure. Democrats want Republicans to vote for the debt limit hike because they say both parties are responsible for the debt and they both should be responsible for making sure payments are made to avoid default.

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