Friday, August 13, 2021

Democrats’ Radical $3.5 Trillion Agenda; ‘A good, decent chance’: Schumer Downplays Party Squabbling Over Spending Package; 11 Notable Topics in Senate Vote-a-Rama on Spending $3.5 Trillion

Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters
Democrats’ Radical $3.5 Trillion Agenda:
We previously warned Republicans against supporting a smaller infrastructure deal with Democrats, because it was always part and parcel of the broader effort to pass a sweeping liberal agenda. Sure enough, after 18 Republicans voted to advance the so-called infrastructure compromise over the weekend, Democrats responded on Monday morning by unveiling a radical $3.5 trillion proposal meant to transform the United States into a place more closely resembling a European social-welfare state.
One of the characteristics that has distinguished the U.S. has been the fact that a critical mass of Americans have always believed that the government cannot or should not attempt to solve all of its citizens’ problems. Of course, we are far removed from having a Congress that narrowly follows its enumerated powers, or from an interpretation of the Tenth Amendment that defers most questions to the states. But skepticism of centralized power, in addition to the checks and balances inherent in our form of government, has prevented the U.S. from going as far in intervening in people’s lives as the governments of other Western nations do.
Democrats have always seen this reality as a bug — not a feature — of our constitutional structure, and they have long been frustrated by the fact that the U.S. has not emulated other countries with as robust of a welfare system. While the Democrats’ current reconciliation proposal would not turn the U.S. into Europe overnight, it would take a huge leap in that direction.
What’s important to keep in mind about the Democratic proposal, released by socialist Senate Budget Committee chairman Bernie Sanders, is not merely that it spends an exorbitant sum of money, but that it creates new programs that would permanently change the relationship between Americans and their government from birth until death. And Democrats will be able to pass it without a single Republican vote, bypassing the Senate filibuster, as long as they can get around the Senate parliamentarian. --->READ MORE HERE
‘A good, decent chance’: Schumer downplays party squabbling over spending package:
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats will settle their differences and pass a $3.5 trillion spending package in September despite warnings from key centrists that the price tag is too high and complaints from liberals that it falls short.
“We’ve got a chance,” Schumer told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s a good, decent chance.”
The New York Democrat made the prediction hours after Senate Democrats advanced the $3.5 trillion spending framework in a resolution that allows them to pass the bill with only 51 votes.
That means all 50 Senate Democrats will have to support the bill in order for it to pass with the tiebreaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.
“We all need to be unified, and everyone knows that,” Schumer said. “So, that doesn't mean people don't fight for their beliefs, but at the end of the day, we have to come together. Thus far, we have.”
Schumer will have to broker an agreement that can win the support of his Left and centrist factions.
Two centrists, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have warned the $3.5 trillion price tag is too high. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
11 Notable Topics in Senate Vote-a-Rama on Spending $3.5 Trillion
In forcing through a $3.5 trillion spending bill that includes portions of the Green New Deal and lays the groundwork to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, Senate Democrats killed numerous Republican amendments that would promote energy independence, reopen classrooms, and rein in the IRS.
The massive spending bill passed on a 50-49 vote along party lines. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., whose wife is undergoing cancer treatment, wasn’t present.
In what Capitol Hill veterans call a “vote-a-rama,” the Senate considered dozens of amendments after about 14 hours of debate from Republicans, and some from Democrats, before approving the spending package endorsed by President Joe Biden just before 4 a.m.
“Congress cannot keep spending money it does not have to support Biden’s tax-and-spend agenda,” Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said at one point
The Senate majority (including two independents who caucus with Democrats) were able to pass the $3.5 trillion bill through a faster process known as reconciliation because fiscal measures may bypass filibusters designed to delay a floor vote.
Here are some of the more significant amendments on the Senate floor, and their fate. --->READ MORE HERE

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