(CNN)Senate Democrats on the Budget Committee announced late Tuesday they struck an agreement on a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that includes spending for President Joe Biden’s sweeping social agenda — and would be a first step toward unlocking their ability to pass their own infrastructure bill later this year.
The effort is separate from a bipartisan bill on traditional roads and bridges and is expected to set the stage for Democrats to pass reforms like expanding the child tax credit, offering paid medical and family leave and potentially even overhauling the country’s immigration system. The bill is also expected to include changes to the US tax code.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the agreement after emerging from a late-night meeting at the US Capitol, flanked by Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders of Vermont and others on the committee — a sign of unity among members of the Democratic caucus that the committee had sought in recent weeks as they hammered out their framework.
The bill still has a long way to go. It’s still unclear if the proposal of $3.5 trillion can earn the support of moderates who have made clear they have deep reservations about spending trillions more after a year of emergency relief spending during the coronavirus pandemic. Schumer on Tuesday said that the legislation will eventually have the 50 votes needed to pass the Senate.
“The budget resolution with instructions will be $3.5 trillion. You add that to the $600 billion bipartisan plan, you get to $4.1 (trillion), which is very, very close to what President (Joe) Biden asked us for,” Schumer said. “Every major program that President Biden has asked us for is funded in a robust way.”
Progressives Democrats have pushed party leaders to put forward a larger legislative package through budget reconciliation, meaning under Senate rules it could be passed through the Senate with only Democratic votes — in order for them to support the separate, roughly $600 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal. Last month, House Speaker Nanc
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