Perspectives: Democrats Seek Interparty Compromise as Spending Plan is Cut Back

Headline Roundup October 20th, 2021

Democrats and President Joe Biden are working to downsize their multi trillion-dollar spending plan this week, quelling opposition from key centrist Democrats while preserving top party priorities.

Biden reportedly told members of the progressive caucus Tuesday that the new range for the spending bill's price tag is between $1.75 and $1.9 trillion, roughly half of the original $3.5 trillion plan. Among the planned cuts from the original are two years of free community college and a climate change program that would incentivize utilities to rely more on clean energy. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday night that there was "broad agreement that there is urgency in moving forward" on the plan and that "the window for finalizing a package is closing." All Republican senators oppose the bill out of fear that it will drastically increase the national deficit.

The spending bill has been a top news story across the spectrum for months, and outlets on all sides have followed its recent evolution. Coverage from left-rated outlets often highlighted the items that were cut from the bill and the potential consequences of those cuts, and focused on Democrats' opposition to those cuts. Some reports from right-rated sources honed in on the plan's other spending categories and their estimated cost, often framing the planned spending as exorbitant. Others framed the slow negotiations as a sign of major dysfunction in the Democratic party.

From the Left
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ANALYSIS

Democrats have spent months trying to pass a multitrillion-dollar expansion of government programs designed to help families, lift people out of poverty, broaden access to health insurance, provide free education, and fight the rising threat of climate change.

Their grand plans for an ambitious legislative package came to a crashing halt this week, however, after President Joe Biden made clear to lawmakers they would need to accept significant cuts to many of their priorities if the bill is to become law this year.

Simply put, Democrats lack the support in...

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From the Center
835
ANALYSIS

Negotiations continue among Democratic moderates and progressives over President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, a sweeping proposal targeting “human infrastructure,” climate change and other party priorities.

Biden and other top Democrats had been aiming for a $3.5 trillion social-spending package that would move in tandem with a bipartisan infrastructure PAVE, +1.23% bill, but objections from moderates have shifted the White House to considering toplines ranging from $1.9 trillion to $2.3 trillion.

The president on Wednesday is scheduled to push his economic agenda in a speech in his birthplace of Scranton, Pa., amid reports that two key...

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From the Right
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ANALYSIS

The massive Democratic spending package now working its way through Congress is not, strictly speaking, a health care bill. But it's not not a health care bill, either. Many of its biggest, most expensive provisions are expansions of government-run or federally subsidized health care programs. Those provisions represent the largest expansion of federal health care spending since Obamacare.  

And now we have a much better sense of just how big and costly some of those expansions would be. Just two provisions alone would cost about $533 billion, according to a new analysis by the...

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