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[NFA] U.S. Democrats narrow differences on Biden's agenda

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Democrats are closing in on a deal on U.S. President Joe Biden’s social and climate-change agenda.

Congressional Democrats and the White House hope an agreement on a framework of $2 trillion or less will enable the House to advance a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and set the stage for passage of Biden’s larger “Build Back Better” social package.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday Democrats have agreed on more than 90% of the issues. She said decisions remained on the legislation’s healthcare provisions and which revenue provisions to include.

Also voicing optimism: Vice President Kamala Harris.

“I'm confident that we will reach a deal, but these details have to be worked out and, you know, I think the American people should feel some sense of relief that people who are in a position to make this deal, are paying attention to details, and are getting into the nitty gritty.”

Disagreements over the scale of the larger package have held up Biden's domestic agenda. Progressive House Democrats are refusing to vote for the infrastructure bill, which has already been passed by the Senate, until a deal is reached on social programs and climate change.

And over in the Senate, moderate Democrat Krysten Sinema is balking at raising tax rates for the rich and corporations. In an attempt to get her support, Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden is floating a “billionaires income tax” proposal to help offset the cost of the Biden plan. That plan aims to clamp down on loopholes billionaires use to avoid or significantly lower their tax payments.

A source said Biden is “favorably disposed” towards that tax.

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