Before leaving Delaware, President Joe Biden told reporters that he felt confident that a deal had been reached regarding his spending plan he has been attempting to pass through Congress. Originally billed at $3.5 trillion, reports are that the agreement has been scaled back between $1.75 and $2 trillion.
The Associated Press is reporting that Biden said he was ‘positive’ of the deal, after meeting with Sen’s Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin in Delaware. Biden held what must have been a basement summit with the pair over the weekend as they attempted to work through the issues.
Manchin had been resistant to any of the overtures of the Democrats as part of the process. He said he would support a spending plan, but was resistant to tax increases to pay for it. In the AP report, it indicated that Manchin will support certain taxes to help pay for the plan.
The new taxes are estimated to fall well short of what is needed to pay for the plan, which is what Manchin had often spoken of. It leaves many to wonder what Joe Biden promised to Manchin in return for his support of the scaled-back bill.
If an agreement is made, the House is expected to vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that has already passed the Senate. The additional plan is expected to include measures for free healthcare, free child care, portions of the Green New Deal as well as possible measures to address college tuition and loans.
Much of the energy components are seen as a negative for Manchin’s state of West Virginia, which is home to a major portion of the US coal industry. Any measures to address climate change will have negative impacts on the industry.
Those cuts come as other countries, like China, are heavily investing in the coal industry. Just a few days ago, China ordered coal mines in the nation to produce as much coal as possible.
The AP reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes that the agreement is 90% completed and a vote is expected on the measure later this week.
Unlike the infrastructure portion of the bill, no Republicans are expected to support the new major spending package.
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