Biden Trashes Dems $3 Trillion Plan Instead Funding His Own Agenda

Paring down his "build back better" plans, President Joe Biden presented a more restrictive vision to Democrats on Tuesday of a $2 trillion government-overhaul package with at least $500 billion to be allotted for climate change and middle-class concerns such as child tax credits, paid family leaves, healthcare, and free pre-kindergarten.

The president met privately with nearly 20 centrist and progressive lawmakers as Democrats seemed to be ready to discard what had been a $3.5 trillion package for a less expensive proposal that could unite the party and pass in Congress. Most likely to be eliminated or cut back are plans for tuition-free community colleges, a path to legal status for immigrants in the U.S. without documentation, and a specific clean energy plan that was the pinnacle of Biden's strategy for fighting climate change.

Biden felt "more confident" after the meetings, press secretary Jen Psaki said.

"There was broad agreement that there is urgency in moving forward over the next several days and that the window for finalizing a package is closing," said Psaki.

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a progressive caucus member, said Biden rushed the lawmakers to "get something done now" to establish U.S. leadership on climate change on the global stage.

"He really believes in American leadership, American prestige is on the line," Khanna said.

In Tuesday’s meetings, Biden focused on providing at least $500 billion in tax credits, grants, and loans to fight climate change, including tax breaks for energy producers that reach emission-reduction goals.

The policy has been touted for providing cash to families most in need. Democrats want to extend the credit for years. At this time the credit is to be phased out for single-parent households earning more than $75,000 per year or $150,000 per year for couples, though those income thresholds could be lowered to meet the demands of Manchin and more conservative Democrats.

"It's not the robust vision the president wants or that we wanted," Khanna said.

With Republicans fully opposed to Biden's plans, the president needs all Democrats in the 50-50 split Senate for passage and can only spare a few votes in the House.

Congress has set an Oct. 31 deadline for passage.

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