House Budget Dems aims to show movement on social spending plan

In a letter to herself on Saturday, President Nancy Pelosi touted the budget committee’s markup, while noting that the package will change before she puts it to a floor vote since “negotiations continue with the Senate … “

“The next few days will be a time of intensity,” the speaker wrote.

Showing movement on the social spending package is especially important now, as Pelosi faces a Monday deadline to call up the separate infrastructure package. Democrats have tried to move forward in tandem with the social spending plan. Because the House Budget Committee called the weekend markup, Pelosi could theoretically call a vote on passing the $ 3.5 trillion plan next Monday – if only the package was ready to garner support from almost all 220 House Democrats and 50 Senate Democrats. .

House Budget chairman John Yarmuth, whose Kentucky district is home to UPS’s main international hub, likes to joke that he’s just the deliverer of the $ 3.5 trillion proposal. and not in charge of what it contains. The work of his committee does not bring the plan closer to enactment, however, as the contents of the package are still evolving.

The president noted the group’s “ministerial role” in advancing legislation Democrats call the “Build Back Better” plan.

“Ideally, we would have got a full deal. But it was probably a long shot, ”Yarmuth said in an interview after Pelosi asked him to hold the Saturday markup. “I actually think it’s important to stick a stake in the ground and say, ‘This is where the house is. These are the policies that we think are important. And here’s what it costs to do it.

Representative David Price (DN.C.) has launched his own plea for unity during the markup, as the party’s progressive and moderate wings stick to dueling ultimatums for movement on both planes.

“We all have to realize that we can defend with passion, we can work tirelessly, but proof of our belief does not threaten to bring down the house. We have to have both bills, ”Price said.

House Republicans applaud the Democrats’ plight. Saturday’s markup was planned at the last minute “because the majority has to reconcile infighting within its own party,” said Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, the committee’s top Republican.

Smith forced Democrats to vote during markup on their debt limit management strategy, as the Treasury Department warns the nation could default on its loans as early as next month. The ranking member challenged Democrats to reverse their approach to the issue by rearranging the budget measure they are using to push through the party’s social spending plan in the Senate.

“Democrats – as a majority party – they have the votes, they have the time, with all the tools they need, to tackle the debt ceiling. We should use this time today to speed up this process, ”Smith said.

However, changing the budget measure now would take a long time and could derail the path to getting the $ 3.5 trillion package to Biden’s desk. Democrats therefore continue to insist that Republicans join them in lifting the debt ceiling to avoid the economic fallout of a national default in the weeks to come.

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