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Senate Scrambles Over Social Spending As Democrats in Both Chambers Divided Over the Bill

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 26: A family buys ice cream at a food truck on the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol building in the distance on September 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress is heading into the week with the deadline for debt ceiling negotiations approaching and as President Joe Biden said on Friday that the infrastructure bill remains at a stalemate. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

As Democrats negotiate a narrow majority and complicated budget constraints, President Biden’s climate and social spending measure face scramble in the Senate.

Although House Democrats have spent days agonizing over how to reach an agreement that could win over nearly all of their members, Senate Democrats are warning that the bill will likely change once it reaches their chamber.

 

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 05: The West of the White House is seen at sunset on November 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. House Democrats plan to hold a late night vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and social spending bill. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

The package faces other obstacles in the Senate, including a more minor majority, complicated rules dictating what may be included in the legislation, and a chaotic process that allows Republicans to remove enough Democrats to amend or not to pass the bill.

House and Democratic lawmakers have been working to iron out the issues before passing the House and transmitting across the Capitol, The Hill said. Any Senate revisions would require the House to re-enact the law despite Congress facing a December legislative backlog. Key Senate Democrats, on the other hand, are making it plain that they aren’t committed to the House plan.

Infrastructure Spending Bill Passed, But Here’s the Catch

According to a report from Vox, The House of Representatives approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package on Friday. The outcome was a significant step forward for President Joe Biden’s plan. But a setback for progressives who had long fought for the two acts to be linked. 

Progressives were able to wrest a promise from House moderates to vote for the budget bill before November 15. However, it came with a stipulation.

ALSO READ: US House of Congress Passes Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, Social Spending Bill Remains Uncertain

The House approved the infrastructure package 228-206, with 13 Republicans voting in favor. The bill was crafted by a bipartisan group of legislators and contains significant improvements in roads, bridges, water quality, and broadband internet access. It’s known as BIF (bipartisan infrastructure framework) since members of both parties embrace it. It now goes to Biden’s desk to become law, having previously cleared the Senate.

The $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill did not get a vote and will not be submitted to the Senate. The bill includes unprecedented financing for early childhood care and education and funds to combat climate change and important healthcare changes.

Democrat Sen. Jon Tester stated there would be a lot of work to unite Democrats to vote for the Social Spending Bill. According to a story published in KNOWLEDIA, some Democratic MPs seek to reduce the bill’s budget.

Democrats’ Blew the Timing’ on the Infrastructure and Social Spending Bills

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia claimed his party “blew the timing” on infrastructure and social spending initiatives, Business Insider reported. He went on to say that timing may have lost Terry McAuliffe the Virginia governorship.

Biden’s low support ratings have been linked to various causes, including the infrastructure bill’s stalemate. The law stalled in the House of Representatives for months after passing in the Senate in August, ultimately passing on Friday, just days after the Virginia election. Kaine added Senate should have approved these bills in early October.

However, he expressed confidence in the Democrats’ strategy to pass a $1.75 trillion social spending measure with no Republican support.

RELATED ARTICLE: Manchin: Democrats Should ‘Stop Playing Games’ With $1T Infrastructure Bill