Biden discusses $ 1.9 trillion in revenue for economic package, says Democrats’ free community college is out

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And the president has discussed a price tag of $ 1.75 to $ 1.9 trillion for all expenses, according to a person familiar with the talks. While the number is not final, it is much closer to West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s $ 1.5 trillion turnover than the Progressive’s figure, which was $ 3.5 trillion.

Additionally, he indicated that the child tax credit – a key Democratic priority – would likely be extended for another year, much shorter than many in their party wanted, one of the sources said. . The child tax credit will also probably be means tested, in line with what Manchin had wanted.

Biden also told the group he would cut proposed funding for so-called home care for the elderly and disabled – to less than $ 250 billion, sources said. Democrats wanted to keep funding at $ 400 billion.

The president told progressive lawmakers that negotiators plan to reduce the length of the paid vacation described in the package to four weeks, from the proposed 12 weeks, according to three sources familiar with the meeting.

Democrats spent several days looking at how to address Manchin’s concerns about the scale of the program, according to several people involved, and considered proposals to either reduce the total number of weeks of the program entirely or gradually introduce the program. program over time, starting with a shorter duration and then extending it over a decade.

The president said they plan to keep expanding medicare, which includes hearing, dental and vision, in line with what progressives want.

California Representative Ro Khanna also told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” on Tuesday that Biden planned to provide “community college scholarships” in the package.

Biden had called for making two years of community college free – a long-standing priority for many Democrats. Some progressives – like Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats – have pushed for even more, calling for making tuition free at four-year public colleges..
The president highlighted the free college proposal in speeches across the country for months on end, telling an audience in July that he “insisted we have a universal preschool (and) two years of free community college.”

Biden, however, indicated that the provision could be removed from the final plan at the end of last week.

Speaking about his social safety net proposal at a Connecticut daycare on Friday, the president said, “I don’t know if I can do it, but I also offered a free community college, like you did here. to the state of Connecticut, to help students from low-income families attend community college (and) four-year schools. “

Former President Barack Obama proposed making community colleges free in 2015, but that never happened at the federal level. Many blue and red states, as well as cities, have enacted a version of a law making tuition free, but enacting the program at the federal level could have provided a much-needed shake up for two-year colleges, which saw a huge drop in registrations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Khanna told Tapper that the president wants to keep the universal pre-K, as well as about $ 300 billion in investments to help fight climate change.

The climate change debate in the final bill has yet to be settled, as progressives want to go much further and Manchin has resisted those plans.

Democrats are debating what they should include after Manchin said he would oppose an electricity standard to force utilities to use cleaner fuels to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 % over the next decade.

“There is a wide menu of options” to replace politics, Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a close ally of Biden, told CNN. However, Democrats have yet to rally around a specific replacement for their clean energy plan.

This is not the first time Joe Manchin has committed violence against climate legislation

The party does not have much time to act.

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia told CNN that Senate Democrats agree they must strike a deal this week, including a leading frame and number.

Democrats have less than two weeks before the president heads to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. And although Biden did not explicitly set a deadline, he made it clear in his meeting with Democrats that his goal was to have a locked framework deal that would pave the way for a House vote on the project. of bipartite infrastructure law before his arrival at the conference. , according to two sources close to the meeting.

Khanna told Tapper that Biden “was focusing on delivering something before he went to Glasgow and he presented a compelling case.”

“He looked people in the eye and said the prestige of the United States was on the line. I need it to go represent the United States abroad,” Khanna said.

Democratic leaders urged lawmakers to strike a deal by Oct. 31 to move the infrastructure bill before the short-term surface transportation funding patch expires. But as the deadlines roughly line up, Biden lobbied progressives at the meeting to make sure he had a deal in hand before he arrived at the climate conference, noting the stakes for them. United States if it was not.

A source at the meeting called it “the most convincing case I have heard him make on the need for an agreement on a specific timeframe.”

Progressives, so far, have said they want the multibillion-dollar climate and economic package passed before providing the votes to pass the infrastructure measure.

This title and story was updated with additional reports on Tuesday.

CNN’s Maegan Vazquez, Katie Lobosco, Ella Nilsen and Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.


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