House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appear to be realizing that their dreams of a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill are over. Sens. Manchin and Sinema have blocked the passage of such an outrageously bloated spending bill, for one that will still likely be outrageous and bloated, but less so. Now, in private, Pelosi and other Democrat Party leaders are attempting to determine where the remaining money will go, and what will get cut. Haley Byrd and Ryan Brown report in The Dispatch:
Democratic leaders are considering how to cut costs, including moving up the expiration dates of new programs and setting stricter income parameters for who can qualify. But they are also weighing which priorities should be pursued and which can be removed altogether. Pelosi said in her letter Monday that “overwhelmingly, the guidance I am receiving from Members is to do fewer things well so that we can still have a transformative impact on families in the workplace and responsibly address the climate crisis.”
Congressional Democrats have to be almost completely unified in the House, where they only hold a slim majority, and they cannot afford to lose any support in the evenly divided Senate.
Pelosi said this morning that she is “very disappointed that we’re not going with the original $3.5 trillion, which was very transformative.” She emphasized her priorities are to focus on expanding health care access, addressing climate change, and childcare provisions.
“We’re still talking about a couple of trillion dollars, but it’s much less,” she told reporters.
To pass the bill over Republican opposition through the budget reconciliation process, Democrats have to be almost completely unified in the House, where they only hold a slim majority—and they cannot afford to lose any support in the evenly divided Senate.
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