aUnder pressure from parts of his party, US President Joe Biden has dramatically cut his planned package for investment in social and climate protection. The White House announced on Thursday that it now plans to spend US$1.75 trillion. Originally, Biden had targeted a package that was twice that size, valued at $3.5 trillion.
However, moderate Democrats were opposed to such high spending and, in months of talks, forced the president to drop parts of his plans. The package is one of the major domestic political projects of his presidency. Biden spoke of the “historic investments” that are necessary to ensure the country’s competitiveness in the 21st century.
There were months of intense talks between Biden and various party wings to settle the majority for the plans. Initially it was not clear whether it now stands. In the wake of the new proposal and difficult talks with parts of his party, Biden said in an appearance at the White House: “Nobody got everything they wanted.” This applies to them as well. But it looks like a compromise.
The president said that with the infrastructure package, which he has launched, investment is what it takes to “really change” the country. If nothing happens, other countries threaten to overtake the United States, Democrats warned.
It is not a question of “left versus right”, “moderate versus progressive”, but whether America is leading the world or leading the world. At the same time, Biden had also initiated a big package for investment in the country’s infrastructure, which has not yet been decided in Congress.
Biden flew to G20 summit
Biden visited the Democratic parliamentary group in the House of Representatives on Thursday to campaign personally for the approval of both packages. Such visits to Congress by the President are rare. Several Democratic lawmakers said after the meeting that Biden had insisted the plans were important to his presidency, the party and America’s image abroad.
Soon after visiting Congress and appearing at the White House, Biden left for Europe, where he would attend the G-20 summit in Rome and the World Climate Summit in Glasgow in the coming days. Climate protection should also play an important role in the G20 meeting.
So Biden and the White House have intensified their efforts over the past few days to reach an agreement on a social and climate package ahead of a trip to Europe to be able to show something internationally – in terms of climate, but a Even with the approach to support Biden’s political power and his agenda at home.
The 1.75 trillion package includes, among other things, $555 billion planned for the fight against the climate crisis, including tax incentives for investments in renewable energy or the purchase of electric cars. The heart of the package, however, is social: among other things, there are plans to reduce childcare costs for many families in the country – hitherto sometimes appalling – and provide relief to families partly and entirely by the state. to be taken. To expand tax and health services.
The package is to be financed through tax increases for corporations and top earners as well as through more consistent collection of taxes due. The White House expects about $2 trillion in new revenue — slightly more than the cost of the package. Biden said the project was therefore “budgetary responsible.”
Biden must keep ranks off
Various plans Biden had originally included in the package failed, including his crucial plan to introduce twelve weeks of paid parental leave as well as other reforms in health care. These are things that progressive Democrats hold dear. As leverage, he threatened to block the massive infrastructure package Biden also launched, which has already been approved by the Senate but still requires the approval of the House of Representatives.
The purpose of this package is to modernize the country’s infrastructure. About US$550 billion of fresh investment in infrastructure is planned over the next few years. Overall – including the previously budgeted funds – the package is worth more than a trillion dollars.
The two packages are central domestic political projects for Biden during his tenure – and given internal party conflict among Democrats, they remain politically linked. Biden’s Democrats have a very small majority in both houses of Congress, so the president has to close the ranks on his own. With congressional elections next year, halfway through his term in office, the time is generally for Biden to pursue his core concerns while the Democrats are in charge of Congress. At least in the Senate, there is a danger of losing a majority in the 2022 election.
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