White House seeks to reverse agenda price debate

White House officials are trying to reduce the focus on the price of President BidenJoe Biden FDA clears second rapid home COVID-19 test Pentagon awards $ 6.7 million contract for domestic production of essential material for rapid COVID-19 testingthe economic agenda of, as they seek to persuade moderate senators to join us.

The administration argues that the Democratic-only reconciliation bill will cost essentially nothing as legislation, which could reach $ 3.5 trillion but is constantly evolving, will be offset by increases in corporate and government taxes. rich Americans.

Democrats believe the argument will have the double effect of allaying moderates’ concerns about the size and cost of the package while pushing back against the Republican narrative that Biden is overseeing a “taxes and spending” program. But efforts to convince centrist lawmakers about the cost component have so far been unsuccessful, despite Biden’s direct intervention.

Still, prominent outside groups aligned with the moderates say the White House’s argument has merit.

“Presumably, when the invoice is completed, the offsets will equal the new expenses and the net cost will be zero. And for those who are worried about deficits, debt and the size of government, which represents a lot of Democrats, that would answer that, “said Jim Kessler, executive vice president for policy at the centrist think tank. Third Way Democrat.

“I think that’s both correct and that there is an aspect of public relations that has the advantage of being true,” Kessler said.

On Thursday afternoon, hours before House Democrats delayed voting on the Senate infrastructure bill, Biden and other administration officials tweeted that the former President TrumpDonald TrumpKeith Olbermann slammed for tweet targeting Romney family Prince Andrew’s legal team said the accuser “lives in Australia” cannot sue in US court. And other key national security issues for 2022 PLUSThe 2017 tax cuts increased the national debt by $ 1.9 trillion, while Biden’s “Build Better” program would not increase debt by a cent.

“Here’s the deal: Unlike my predecessor’s tax plan, every penny of my Build Back Better program gets paid,” Biden tweeted.

White House press secretary Jen psakiJen PsakiBiden says if the medical team advises, he will release vaccine requirement for Fauci domestic travel over lack of testing during the holiday season: “We have to do better” Fauci says he was “stunned by boos from Trump supporters over revelation of recall CONTINUE said last week that the progressive-favored bill would not increase the national debt, but she admitted it would cost businesses and wealthy Americans because of the tax increases Biden offered to pay for the package.

“Many high income earners pay lower tax rates than nurses and teachers. Nobody thinks it’s fair, ”Psaki said during a White House briefing. “Yes, we ask them to pay more. “

The national debt had reached about $ 28.5 trillion just before the federal debt limit was reimposed on August 1. Although debt has swelled for decades, Republicans have pledged to block any increase or suspension of the debt ceiling while Democrats continue to spend billions of dollars. Invoice.

GOP lawmakers dot Treasury secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenHouse Democrats ask Biden to unfreeze Afghan central bank reserves On The Money – Presented by Citi – Better rebuilding… late than never? Biden signs debt ceiling increase, avoiding default PLUS with concerns about the fiscal impact of Biden’s program in two appearances before congressional committees last week.

“In the face of skyrocketing inflation, slower growth, persistently high unemployment, and historic levels of government spending and public debt, how do you justify supporting the president’s $ 3.5 trillion in taxes and spending?” Biden? »Senator Tim scottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill’s 12:30 Report – Brought to you by Facebook – Supreme Court clears Texas abortion ban lawsuit Rapper French Montana talks about opioid epidemic and immigration to Capitol Hill How Expanding Credit Data Can Help Fight Inequality MORE (RS.C.) asked Yellen during his testimony Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee.

Republicans argued that with the national debt held by the public now at 105% of gross domestic product (GDP), Biden had put the country on the path to financial ruin.

Yellen has insisted in recent days that Biden’s sprawling spending plan will not only be deficit neutral, but also reduce future deficits by increasing the long-term productivity of the United States.

“The Biden administration’s proposals are neutral on the debt trajectory. The projections we have presented essentially show a leveled debt trajectory over the next 10 years, and beyond 15 years dramatically reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio, ”Yellen told the House financial services committee on Thursday. .

Republicans questioned, however, how certain the administration could be sure of the bill’s budgetary impact without a formal score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the legislature’s non-partisan budget analyst.

Minority Leader in the Senate Mitch mcconnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell A Tale of Two Fiscal Policies: What Motivates Senate Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid Harry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate Majority Leader, dies MORE (R-Ky.) And the first Republican Senator on the Senate Budget Committee. Lindsey grahamLindsey Olin Graham McConnell urges Thune to run for election amid retirement talks Democrats outraged after Manchin opposes Biden Manchin’s spending bill says he will not vote for Build Back Better (SC) asked the CBO Friday to calculate the debt impact of Biden’s program based on a snapshot of spending levels included in the Democratic budget resolution.

Budget watchers are also urging Democrats to suspend voting until the CBO is able to score the final package.

“At this time, we don’t know whether the current reconciliation plan being contemplated would cost $ 3.5 trillion, $ 4 trillion, or $ 5,000 billion, and we don’t know whether it is deficit neutral or if it’s a huge budget break, “said Maya MacGuineas. , Chairman and CEO of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, pro-budget discipline thinks thank you in a statement from September 27.

“You wouldn’t buy a new home without knowing its price; why would you vote for transformative legislation without knowing the cost? MacGuineas said.

The White House’s argument has so far failed to stir Moderate Sens. Joe manchinJoe Manchin If the Democrats are to save Build Back Better, it must be paid in full. Killing the Child Tax Credit is a disguised tax increase for the middle class. (DW.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaMitch McConnell set to win 2021 ‘Politician of the Year’ Biden finds par with black voters Democrats ready to face filibuster and voting rights MORE (D-Ariz.) To support a package of up to $ 3.5 trillion. Manchin revealed Thursday that he was ready to back a $ 1.5 trillion reconciliation bill, which is still a long way from what Biden and other Democrats have called for.

Manchin also signaled that he would not support increasing the corporate tax rate beyond 25 percent – a key source of revenue for the bill. Sinema revealed little of his specific concerns, but shared them privately with the Senate Majority Leader Charles schumerChuck SchumerBiden and lawmakers mourn Harry Reid Harry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate Majority Leader, dies Mitch McConnell set to win ‘Politician of the Year’ in 2021 MORE (DN.Y.) in August, a spokesperson said Thursday.

Broadly speaking, Democrats have recognized that the $ 3.5 trillion price tag will be cut – and the drop could be significant. The White House has so far not publicly announced a lower number that Biden would be comfortable with.

“We’ve been stuck for a long time on this $ 3.5 trillion figure that everyone and their cousin knows is not the final number. So there comes a time when you have to start talking about different numbers, ”Kessler said.

Biden traveled to Capitol Hill on Friday afternoon to meet privately with House Democrats and advocate for his platform and a compromise.

Progressive lawmakers argue that the focus on reducing the bill’s fiscal impact overlooks the scale of the issues the bill addresses and overestimates the political importance of debt reduction.

A total of 42% of likely voters said the biggest problem the United States faces is either the economy in general or the job market in particular, according to a June poll from the Progressive Research Company Data for Progress, while only 13% reported national debt.

Only 4% of Democrats and 14% of Independents cited national debt as their top concern, and even GOP voters were more likely to cite the economy (26%) than national debt (24%) as the biggest problem facing the United States.

The share of Americans who are very worried about the national debt in non-partisan Gallup polls has also fallen from 64% in March 2011 to 49% this year.

“Ultimately, we’re laser-focused on building a free community college for universal preschool, expanding Medicare. This is what we want to offer people and this is what we are striving for, ”said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez 10 Democrats Who Could Run In 2024 If Biden Doesn’t Sixteen Hispanic House Democrats Call on EPA for Stricter Methane Rule Citizenship Before Partisanship: Is Manchin the Perfect Candidate for 2024? FOLLOWING (DN.Y.) told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Richard L. Militello