President Biden travels to his hometown of Scranton, Pa. On Wednesday to present his platform amid reports he has privately informed Democratic lawmakers that he will cut his proposed spending plan by nearly one trillion dollars to garner support from progressives and moderates. Democrats in Congress to get the package approved.
The president is expected to outline the impact of the bipartisan infrastructure plan as well as its Build Back Better program on Pennsylvania.
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According to a White House memo, there are 3,353 bridges and over 7,540 miles of poor highway in Pennsylvania. The memo said that, if approved, the bipartisan infrastructure plan would give Pennsylvania more than $ 11 billion in federal highway aid and $ 1.6 billion in bridges. The plan would also give the state nearly $ 3 billion to improve public transportation options.
As for the Build Back Better package, the White House said it will “improve the lives of millions of working families in Pennsylvania” by offering tax cuts for families with children and tax cuts for workers without. children.
On education, the president is expected to explain how his program will help families pay childcare costs and advocate for “universal and high quality” kindergarten, saying the adoption of his bill would make it “a reality.”
The president will also introduce at least two years of free community college to all students and point out that his plan would increase the maximum number of Pell Grants for student borrowers.
Biden is also expected to highlight how his plan could lower housing costs and increase the supply of affordable housing.
The president’s expected speech to the Pennsylvanians comes after he reportedly detailed a potential deal for the proposed spending between $ 1.75 and $ 1.9 trillion. The Washington Post first reported the president’s counter-offer for a scaled-down plan from his original $ 3.5 trillion proposal.
The revised package includes many of the original plan signing proposals, including universal pre-K, a substantial investment in green energy, and expanded Medicare benefits. However, sources told the Washington Post details are still subject to change.
The latest spending benchmark indicates that Biden and other Democratic leaders have made significant cuts to their sweeping spending plan to achieve a compromise that satisfies both moderate and progressive Democratic lawmakers. Democratic leaders have set a deadline of Oct. 31 to reach an agreement on the spending plan and a separate bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure deal.
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During the daily White House briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration “continues to make progress” towards a deal, with Biden playing a leading role in the negotiations.
Moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have said they will not back Biden’s initial $ 3.5 trillion spending plan without significant cuts. Manchin has publicly called for a nearly $ 1.5 trillion spending plan.
It is unclear whether progressives in the House will support a spending plan at the lower end of the proposed range. Progressives urged Democratic leaders not to reduce the scope of the spending plan, even if it meant funding programs over shorter periods of time.
Progressive House Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal’s representative on Tuesday expressed optimism that a deal could be reached, although she noted that Biden had “consistently put a figure between 1.9 and 2.2 dollars. [trillion]. “
“Look, that’s not the number we want,” the Washington state Democrat told reporters. “We’ve always tried to get it as high as possible, but at the end of the day the idea that we can do these programs, a bunch of programs that actually get them started so that they deliver immediate transformational benefits to people is what we are focused on. “
Thomas Barrabi of FOX Business contributed to this report.
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