House Democrats Adopt $3.5T Budget Blueprint

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Aug 24, 2021 - 08:32 PM

Update (1632ET): After striking a deal to quell party infighting, House Democrats on Thursday adopted the massive $3.5 trillion budget blueprint by a vote of 220-212 along party lines.

The vote allows Democrats to adopt a rule allowing them to immediately begin work on the legislation, and will require the lower chamber to take up the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill no later than Sept. 27.

As The Hill notes, the rule also clears the way for the House to vote later Tuesday on legislation to restore a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which required localities with 'histories of voter suppression' to receive federal clearance before making changes to election laws.

More via The Hill:

The deal Pelosi reached on Tuesday provides a brief detente between Democratic moderates and progressives as House lawmakers leave Washington to resume their summer recess.

But the internecine sniping over process, strategy and timing foreshadows just how difficult it will be for the party to stay united when it comes to turning their policy goals into law in the coming weeks as they seek to show voters that they can govern.

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said that writing the legislative text for some components of the $3.5 trillion spending plan, such as making changes to Medicare benefits, will be “relatively easy to do” since those programs already exist.

But policy goals like creating a new universal child care program will be much more challenging to craft because “you have nothing structurally to use to implement it,” Yarmuth acknowledged.

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Moderate Democrats have finally agreed to a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move forward with their party's $4.1 trillion economic plan, according to Bloomberg, citing a lawmaker involved in the negotiations.

The agreement would allow for the adoption of the Senate's $3.5 trillion tax and spending blueprint, while setting up a final vote on a separate $550 billion infrastructure bill no later than Sept. 27. The blueprint, meanwhile, is slated to receive a Tuesday vote as part of a rule governing debate on the bill, along with another on voting rights legislation.

The anticipated vote Tuesday would adopt the $3.5 trillion budget resolution as part of a rule governing debate on the infrastructure bill and voting rights legislation. -Bloomberg

According to the report, the deal came after a pressure campaign from the White House and Democratic leaders.

Ahead of an expected House vote Tuesday afternoon, the Rules Committee reconvened to put the deadline for the infrastructure vote into writing, which was enough to appease the group of 10 centrists who threatened to hold up the budget framework if the House didn’t pass the infrastructure bill this week.


In addition to Pelosi’s pressure campaign, Biden and his top aides made calls to the group of moderates and other House Democrats to again emphasize White House support for Pelosi’s strategy and the importance of the budget resolution, the infrastructure bill and the voting rights legislation to the president’s goals, according to officials. -Bloomberg

"These negotiations are never easy," said Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA), adding "It is my hope that my colleagues who recognize the very simple choice to advance the presidents agenda or obstruct it."

The group of moderate Democrats - who had previously objected to Pelosi's two-track approach to passing the infrastructure vote in tandem with the $3.5 trillion blueprint was passed -  were at odds with progressive Democrats who backed Pelosi's approach.

"We’re going to have to leap together," said Pelosi ally Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), adding "The most progressive members of my caucus, the most moderate members of caucus need to come together and recognize it’s either going to be doing both bills or we’re really in the end not going to be able to pass either one of them."