WASHINGTON – As Democrats begin to contemplate cuts to their $ 3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” bill, the centrist Progressive Policy Institute attacked a $ 2 trillion version this week.
This is one of the most detailed arguments for a smaller bill so far, and there is some overlap between the group’s perspective and resistance fighters like Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.V., he So worth taking a look at how they got there.
First, the plan rejects an approach launched by progressive leaders to fund more programs on a temporary basis and dare Republicans to take them down later.
“Think back to the Affordable Care Act and how different 2017 could have been if instead of Republicans voting to repeal it, they could have sat idly by while benefits expired,” Ben Ritz said, the author of the PPI report, at First Read. “I think you create a significant risk that these programs will provide benefits for a few years, people depend on it, and then suddenly they expire.”
Manchin also expressed his skepticism about temporary programs for deficit reasons, a concern Ritz also shares.
But coming up with a tighter permanent bill comes at a high cost. Several major components of the Biden plan are completely gone – home care for the elderly and disabled, free community college and more than $ 300 billion in affordable housing.
Instead, the no-frills PPI plan consists of a $ 975 billion bucket of “working families”, a $ 600 billion climate bucket, and $ 425 billion for health care. .
The centerpiece of the “working families” package: a permanent version of the child tax credit, which should probably be drastically reduced. Universal pre-K, but without childcare subsidies (one of the toughest cuts, Ritz said). And if there is anything left, a much lower parental leave allowance.
The climate would include tax credits for green technologies and a clean energy standard for utilities. Manchin is skeptical of requiring utilities to switch to renewables, so they suggest a carbon tax as an alternative, which Democrats are also politically reluctant to adopt.
Finally, health care would be reduced to a subsidy boost from the Affordable Care Act, a public option for people who cannot get Medicaid in their condition, and some measures to contain health care costs. . Abandoned entirely: Senator Bernie Sanders’ plan to provide dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. Who else seems skeptical of the Sanders proposal? Manchin once again.
“We believe it is more important to give people who do not have access to affordable health care coverage than to extend care to people who already have it,” said Ritz.
Overall, this is a plausible framework. It also matches what House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn, DS.C., told one of us – that the package should focus more on young people, not on older people.
For another approach, check out Slate’s Jordan Weissmann, who tried to put together his own $ 1.5 trillion plan.
Postpone the debt ceiling crisis to December
The Senate is set to strike a deal to push the debt ceiling crisis back to December, the NBC team reports on Capitol Hill.
Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not block an extension of the debt limit until December, as part of a tentative deal to temporarily end a partisan-only standoff 12 days before the government deadline to avoid default, ”Sahil Kapur, Teaganne Finn, Garrett Haake and Leigh Ann Caldwell wrote.
“Democrats appeared ready to accept the offer to extend the limit until December, according to several Democratic senators and two senior Republican officials.”
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Downloading data: the numbers you need to know today
260,000: The number of African children who die from malaria each year. The World Health Organization is backing a new malaria vaccine for children, hoping to limit these deaths.
140,000: The estimated number of children whose parent or responsible grandparent has died from Covid.
$ 1 billion: The White House’s new investment in rapid home Covid testing ahead of the holiday season.
44 094 759: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 116,984 more since yesterday morning.)
712 325: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, according to the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 2,276 more since yesterday morning.)
398 675 414: The number of vaccine doses administered in the United States, according to the CDC. (That’s 957,359 more since yesterday morning.)
56.1%: The share of all Americans who are fully immunized, according to the CDC.
67.5%: The share of all US adults 18 years of age or older who are fully immunized, by CDC.
Gun control group launches election campaign in Virginia
In addition to her competitive gubernatorial contest in November, Virginia will see control of her House of Delegates up for grabs next month. And the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund told First Read it was launching a $ 500,000 campaign in these races.
Democrats currently hold a slim majority in the Virginia House of Delegates.
The Everytown Action Fund campaign includes digital and direct mail ads in eight swing neighborhoods.
“We rely on our elected leaders to keep our families safe,” says one of those digital ads. “Still, Virginia Republican politicians like Tim Anderson have sided with the gun lobby and want to overturn common sense gun safety laws.”
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund also released a poll by Dem Schoen Cooperman Research, which shows that a majority (56%) of likely voters statewide say gun violence prevention is very important.
And among likely voters who think violent crime is on the rise in Virginia, another majority (51%) say it has made them more supportive of strengthening gun laws.
ICYMI: what else is happening in the world
A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas’ strict abortion law, pending appeal.
U.S. officials knew as early as July that thousands of Haitians were considering migrating to the United States, sources told NBC News.
Doctors disagree on whether a previous Covid infection creates the same immune protection as a vaccine.
A new Senate report, due for release this week, gives more details on how President Trump lobbied to find ways to call off the election.
Axios reports that Senator Bernie Sanders did not join a draft statement condemning protesters who followed Senator Kyrsten Sinema into the toilet because it would not include a montage from Sanders’ office criticizing Sinema’s position on reconciliation .
Politico reports that former President Trump’s 2019 trip to Walter Reed was for a routine colonoscopy, nothing more serious.