Rep. Jared GoldenJared GoldenOn The Money-Presented by NRHC Senate Slowly Returns from Debt Disaster Moderate Democrat Says He Can’t Back House Spending Plan ‘in Its Present Form’ Club for Growth Presses Frontline Democrats on Reconciliation Plan MORE (D-Maine) on Thursday warned his colleagues that the multi-billion-dollar social spending plan his party is working on “needs more work” to get his support.
In an opinion piece published by The Portland Press Herald, Golden said that while advocating for the Senate, which consisted of $ 1.2 trillion in bipartisan infrastructure that Parliament has not yet voted on, he can “not support” the larger spending package “in his current form. ”
Both bills are major components of President BidenJoe BidenArkansas lawmakers move bill banning companies from demanding workers’ vaccine status Senate approves short-term debt ceiling increase On The Money-Presented by NRHC Senate slowly recedes from debt disaster MOREs economic agenda that party leadership has set out to pass Congress before the end of the month. Democrats can afford only a handful of deviations in Parliament on the broader spending package given the overall GOP opposition.
The party aims to pass the social spending plan using a procedure called reconciliation that makes it possible to circumvent a GOP filibuster in the 50-50 Senate. But Democrats have struggled to remain consistent throughout the process as members continue to disagree on the size and scope of the legislation.
Golden is not the first moderate Democrat to raise concerns over aspects of the spending package. Several Democrats voted against parts of the legislation at the committee level.
Democratic Reps. Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt Schrader Moderate Democrat says he can not back House spending plan ‘in its current form’ Club for Growth pushes frontline Democrats on reconciliation plan The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Pelos’ chaotic infrastructure poll sprint MORE (Ore.), Scott PetersScott H. Peters Moderate Democrat says he can not back house spending plan ‘in its current form’ LIVE COVERAGE: Biden tries to unite shared House Sanders, Manchin, Sinema fight proxy war in house MORE (California) and Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura Rice Moderate Democrat says he can not back home spending plan ‘in its current form’ Legislators using management -PACs as ‘slush-means’ to live lavish lifestyles: report House adopts suspension of debt ceiling as standoff with GOP elaborates MORE (NY) voted against a proposal aimed at lowering drug prices, citing concerns that the measure would harm innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.
In his statement, Golden said that “the draft reconciliation bill in its current form chooses the path of least resistance, takes too many shortcuts and circumvents difficult decisions.”
Take, for example, the proposal’s extension of the Medicare program to cover vision, dentistry and hearing, a policy that benefits. To implement this policy, however, the draft reconciliation legislation depends on budget gimmicks, where dental services will not enter into force until 2028, ”he wrote.
“The decision to delay these benefits was largely based on a desire to lower the overall price of the bill, but it is inappropriate for lawmakers to try to claim that they made a historic expansion that may never take effect while they are hiding the true cost of the expansion, with the potential risk to the broader Medicare program, ”he continued.
Golden, a moderate Democrat who has at times been known to vote against his party, also considered part of the bill regarding an extension of the extended tax credit for children.
“Many of the proposal’s key policies to support workers and families, such as the extension of the extended tax credit for children (CTC),” he wrote, “are implemented in just four years to artificially lower the total cost of the bill.”
“I support this policy, but I also believe that low-income families should not be the targets of another congressional fiscal policy cut. “If Congress thinks this is a good policy, we will have to pay for it for the entire 10-year budget window,” he wrote.
He also said he did not think “the proposal as it is now has not been paid in full.”
“The president himself has repeatedly promised that the cost of this effort will be ‘zero’, but the plan proposal does not yet meet this test. Getting on the heels of $ 6 trillion in deficit-funded COVID relief and $ 2 trillion in unfunded tax cuts in 2017, it would be irresponsible and hypocritical for us to do otherwise, ”he said.
His comments come as a $ 3.5 trillion price level previously associated with the spending package, which management says is likely to be lowered before being brought to the floor for a vote, has been a source of controversy between moderates and progressives.
Biden and other officials have tried to shift conversation around the proposed price tag for the reconciliation plan, saying the plan will ultimately cost “zero” in consumption over time, while pointing to proposed tax increases on wealthy figures and companies they say will help offsetting the cost of social spending.
Golden also warned in the statement that although he believes the two-part infrastructure law should be passed by Parliament immediately and sent to Biden for signature, he will not “swap” his vote for the deal in exchange for a “yes” on reconciliation plan.
“I continue to support getting it to the President’s desk as soon as possible, and I will not exchange my vote for this bill for any reconciliation bill. But as the President said last week, we have the time and ability to make the Atonement Bill fit, and we should. Only time will tell whether we choose that path, ”he added.
Progressives in Parliament have threatened to block the bipartisan measure if the reconciliation package is not first adopted, worried about how much their colleagues will cut the latter plan if infrastructure legislation is already a final deal.