Senate Democrats release $ 3.5 billion budget framework

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, released the text of a $ 3.5 trillion budget framework that aims to give Democrats the ability to approve major federal investments in provisions for child care, family leave and climate change without the support of Republicans in Congress.

In a letter sent Monday morning, Schumer told Democrats the goal is for committees to draft legislation to meet spending targets by September 15.

“When we won a majority in the Senate earlier this year, the American people gave us a great responsibility: to improve their lives,” Schumer wrote in the letter. “I am happy to report that we are making great progress towards this goal.”

Democrats plan to use special budget rules to pass new spending without the threat of Republican obstruction in the Senate. Republicans broadly rejected the additional spending plans and said Democrats threatened the ability to strike bipartisan deals on other critical economic issues, like raising or suspending the debt ceiling.

Passing any legislation as part of this process, known as reconciliation, would require unanimous agreement from Democrats, which is far from guaranteed. Moderate Democrats, like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., And Joe Manchin, DW.Va., questioned the need for billions in new spending, but avoided committing to a spending target that they can support.

Progressive Democrats have insisted that the Senate adopt a partisan spending program before the House considers the bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill that is due to be approved in the Senate this week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Has said for weeks that the House will not vote on the bipartisan bill until the Senate completes its work on the additional spending.

Schumer said Monday he was working with Pelosi on this plan.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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