Democrats formally began their push on Monday for the most significant expansion of the nation’s social safety net since the Great Society of the 1960s, unveiling a budget blueprint that would spend $3.5 trillion on health care, child and elder care, education and climate change.

The budget resolution, which Senate Democrats hope to pass by the end of this week, would allow the caucus to piece together social policy legislation this fall, paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy, large inheritances and corporations.

And if Democrats and their two independent allies can hold together, that measure could pass the Senate without a Republican vote, nullifying the filibuster threat.

That measure would pass after a separate $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill likely clears the Senate on Tuesday. Together, they would secure the remainder of President Biden’s $4 trillion economic agenda, but the two-step effort will test Mr. Biden’s ability to both work with Republicans and maneuver around them.

But the two-pronged effort will test the president’s ability to keep the razor-thin Democratic majorities in both chambers united as his party’s leaders both work with Republicans and maneuver around them.

“It is big, bold change — the kind of change America thirsts for,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, in a speech on the Senate floor.

Republicans have made it clear that they have no intention of supporting the measure. Though many in the conference support the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, they have railed against the Democrat’s wider budget plan as a “reckless tax and spending spree.”

“Democrats are about to tell Republicans to go take a hike and start teeing up trillions more dollars in borrowing and spending without a single Republican vote,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader. “But at the same time they’re extolling the virtues of their latest socialist shopping list, they are afraid to up the limit on their credit card.”


Source From Nytimes

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