Biden Claims Reconciliation Package Will ‘Reduce the Deficit’ in Closing Argument for Massive Spending

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President Biden again claimed that the new framework for a $1.75 trillion reconciliation package is “fully paid-for” and won’t add to the federal deficit, in a speech from the White House on Thursday.

The package is “fiscally responsible; it’s fully paid-for,” Biden said. “Over the next ten years, it will not add to the deficit at all.”

Hailing the Thursday announcement of the new framework, Biden said “after months of tough and thoughtful negotiations I think—I know we have a historic economic framework.” Biden also acknowledged that the framework represented a compromise, after some components of his initial $3.5 trillion proposal were eliminated.

The president made his speech outlining the scaled back reconciliation framework Thursday as part of a last-ditch effort to push progressives into backing a vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill before he leaves for his trip to Europe on Friday. He also met with House Democrats before the speech, although his visit reportedly failed to move progressive caucus leader Pramil Jayapal, who is demanding to see the final text of the reconciliation package before agreeing to vote on infrastructure.

A White House press release also claimed that the $1.75 trillion framework would be fully paid-for. White House chief of staff Ron Klain wrote on Twitter that the “net cost” of the framework is $0, after writing minutes earlier that the plan is twice as large as the New Deal.

“The net cost is still zero because we raise more than enough revenue to pay for every investment without raising taxes on anyone making less than $400k,” Klain wrote.

The new proposal includes a one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit, free universal preschool, and tax credits and investments in clean energy, among other provisions. The administration dropped proposals for free community college, paid family leave, and expanding Medicare to include vision and dental services.

It was unclear if Democratic Senators would agree to the new framework.

“I work in good faith and I look forward to continue working in good faith and that’s all I have to say today,” Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) told reporters.

“I think before there is a vote in the House on the [$1 trillion bipartisan] infrastructure bill, the members of the House have a right to know that 50 US senators are supporting a strong reconciliation bill,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) commented.

Several progressive House Democrats indicated they still planned to vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill after the White House revealed its new framework for the reconciliation bill, including Representatives Cori Bush (D., Mo.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.).

“There are too many no votes for the [bipartisan infrastructure bill] to pass today,” House Progressive Caucus head Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) told reporters.

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