U.S. Senate Democrats agree to 3.5-trln-USD price tag for spending bill

2021-07-14 14:11:03Xinhua Editor : Zhang Dongfang ECNS App Download

U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday agreed to set a top-line spending level of 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars for a bill to enact most of President Joe Biden's economic agenda without Republican support.

"The budget committee has come to an agreement. The budget resolution with instructions will be 3.5 trillion dollars," Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said late Tuesday.

"Every major program that President Biden has asked us for is funded in a robust way," Schumer said.

The top-line figure is significantly less than the 6 trillion dollars pushed by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders.

The agreement will allow Democrats to send a budget resolution to the Senate floor containing instructions for a tax and spending bill that would require just 50 Democratic caucus votes plus Vice President Kamala Harris's tie-breaker to pass, according to Bloomberg News.

However, the draft budget proposal does not yet have the support of all 50 members of the Democratic caucus and could be changed further, Bloomberg News reported, adding Biden plans to go to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to discuss the plan.

The move came after Biden last month reached a deal with a bipartisan group of senators on a roughly 1.2-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. If enacted, Biden's total economic agenda would top 4 trillion dollars over the long term.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, has urged policymakers to put the United States on a sound fiscal path before debating how to pass trillion dollars in new policies.

"With debt on track to reach a new record and the economy showing signs of recovery, any large-scale investments must not add to the debt and reconciliation instructions should add to zero," MacGuineas said Monday in a statement.

"It was wrong to jam through deficit-financed tax cuts via reconciliation, and it would be wrong to deficit-finance spending priorities," MacGuineas said.

The U.S. budget deficit soared to 2.24 trillion dollars during the first nine months of fiscal year 2021, which ends on Sept. 30, the U.S. Treasury Department reported on Tuesday.


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