Democratic moderates and liberals have their diffferences about the Administration’s infrastucture package. But amid the current tensions, there are encouraging signs that Dems are coming together to move the Biden administration’s agenda forward. In “Sanders traveling to Iowa, Indiana to pitch Biden’s spending package,” Jordan Carney reports at The Hill:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is hitting the road to pitch Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending plan, which they are hoping to pass through Congress later this year.
Sanders, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee and led the talks on the blueprint for the spending package, will travel later this month to Indiana and Iowa, where he’ll hold a town hall on Aug. 27 and Aug. 29, respectively.
Senate Democrats approved a budget earlier this month that will allow them to write and pass a $3.5 trillion spending package as soon as next month without GOP support. The spending package is expected to include top priorities like child care, expanding Medicare, combating climate change and immigration reform.
Carney adds that “Sanders will travel to two congressional districts where former President Trump increased his number of voters between 2016 and 2020, according to details from Sanders’s political apparatus.” Sanders explains further, “While it will have no Republican support in Washington, Democrats, independents and working-class Republicans all over the country support our plan to finally invest in the long-neglected needs of working families.”
Carney notes further, “Congressional Republicans are lining up in unified opposition against the $3.5 trillion spending package, and Democrats are facing pushback from moderates in both chambers who are sending warning signals that they want to lower the price tag. Democrats need total unity in the Senate, and near total unity in the House, to pass the plan under budget rules that let them avoid the normal 60-vote Senate hurdle.” In addition,
But Biden and congressional Democrats are betting that they’ll be able to sell their plan to swing voters and some Republicans outside of Washington by emphasizing its health care, child care and housing benefits. The strategy is similar to the COVID-19 relief bill that Democrats passed on their own earlier this year but touted as bipartisan because it picked up support in polling from GOP voters.
And they’re hoping to be able to tout the plan, as well as a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, heading into the 2022 midterms, where their control of the House and Senate are at stake. Biden has put both at the center of his legislative agenda.
A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month found that Americans supported a $3.5 trillion spending plan for social programs, including child care, education and expanding Medicare for seniors, 62 percent to 32 percent.
Democratic progressives and moderates will continue to butt heads about federal spending levels, as well as social issues. But it’s good to see the party’s top progressive working with moderates for a unified Democratic agenda.