In a party-line vote, the Senate approved a $3.5 trillion budget resolution forwarded by Democratic leadership.
On Monday, The Daily Wire reported that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the outline of the plan to fellow lawmakers — which allocates significant resources to healthcare, education, and other federal social programs.
Particularly notable provisions mentioned in Schumer’s letter to his colleagues are as follows:
- Establishes Universal Pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds and a new child care benefit for working families
- Makes Community College tuition-free for 2 years
- Creates the first ever federal Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit
- Provides Environmental justice and climate resilience
- Establishes the first ever Civilian Climate Corps
- Provides green cards to millions of immigrant workers and families
- Adds a new Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit to the Medicare program
On Wednesday, Senators approved the resolution in a 50 to 49 vote.
The New York Times explains:
The blueprint sets in motion a perilous legislative process aimed at creating the largest expansion of the federal safety net in nearly six decades. The House will return early from its scheduled summer recess the week of Aug. 23 to take up the budget, so committees in both chambers can begin work fleshing out the party’s vision for what would be the greatest change to social welfare since the 1960s’ Great Society.
Despite the resolution’s passage, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) indicated that he may not continue advancing the measure over budgetary concerns.
“Early this morning, I voted ‘YES’ on a procedural vote to move forward on the budget reconciliation process because I believe it is important to discuss the fiscal policy future of this country,” he said in a statement. “However, I have serious concerns about the grave consequences facing West Virginians and every American family if Congress decides to spend another $3.5 trillion… Given the current state of the economic recovery, it is simply irresponsible to continue spending at levels more suited to respond to a Great Depression or Great Recession — not an economy that is on the verge of overheating.”
Many conservative lawmakers dubbed the Democrats’ efforts a “tax and spend spree.”
“In the last six months, Democrats under Joe Biden have already spent more than $3.1 trillion,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). “Now, with more than 70 percent of Americans concerned that Democrat spending will cause spiraling inflation, they want to add another $3.5 trillion. That’s not only irresponsible — it is reckless. Overall inflation has risen at the fastest rate in over a decade and core inflation is at the highest level in nearly 30 years, but instead of cutting back, Democrats want to double down.”
“From the first moment this reckless budget was unveiled, I was against it,” added Sen. Todd Young (R-IN). “There’s a difference between smart, targeted investments that have long-term positive results and the out-of-control spending Democrats want for their socialist agenda. It is especially regrettable that Speaker Pelosi insisted on tying infrastructure to the massive tax-and-spend bill that Democrats intend to ram through as soon as they pass the budget. This left-wing wish list will only raise taxes and hurt American families,” said Senator Young.