Top Democrat on big spending: 'We cannot go back to pre-pandemic normal'

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House Democrats said Wednesday the nation cannot return to pre-pandemic life without a massive spending measure to provide funding for caregivers as part of an infrastructure package President Joe Biden and Congress are negotiating.

“The House Democratic Caucus, the speaker, and others have been clear that we believe a meaningful investment in the caring economy in long-term care and home care, and child care, and caring for our seniors in healthcare is important for the American people emerging from a deadly pandemic,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, told reporters Wednesday.

EVEN DEMOCRATS ARE BALKING AT BERNIE SANDERS'S $6 TRILLION SPENDING PLAN

House Democrats have so far been sidelined in talks between the Senate and Biden on a bipartisan infrastructure package. Senate Democrats said they plan to pair the bill with a broader spending measure that would provide liberal wish list items, including expanded healthcare subsidies, universal preschool, free community college, and money for those who care for the elderly or disabled.

Jeffries said Biden has made it clear the nation must provide additional services to make it possible for people to return to the life they lived prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns that shuttered businesses, governments, and schools.

“The president has been very clear that we cannot go back to pre-pandemic normal because pre-pandemic normal was a problem for so many everyday Americans,” Jeffries said. “Which is why investing in the caring economy is going to be an incredibly important part of what we attempt to accomplish.”

Biden has been in talks with a bipartisan Senate group who have proposed a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, but the deal is hung up on how to pay for the proposal.

Senate Democrats plan to pass the caregiver measure using a budgetary tactic called reconciliation, which would allow them to pass the legislation without needing any Republican support.

Some House Democrats are skeptical of the talks, fearing the caregiver funding package will never make it into law.

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“We have to see what the ultimate package is before we are in a position to really meaningfully comment,” Jeffries told reporters Wednesday.

“Investing in the caring economy is going to be an incredibly important part of what we attempt to accomplish, and will accomplish, for the people this year,” Jeffries said. “What the vehicle, ultimately, is to do, that remains to be seen, but we have an iron-clad commitment to the American people to meaningfully invest in the caring economy.”

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Tags: News, Congress, Hakeem Jeffries, House Democrats, Infrastructure

Original Author: Susan Ferrechio

Original Location: Top Democrat on big spending: 'We cannot go back to pre-pandemic normal'

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