House progressives aren’t backing down on their push to fund more programs in their Social Security net bill, even if it means sunsetting the programs too soon.
Progressive lawmakers, including House Progressive Caucus Chairperson Pramila Jayapal, told reporters on Tuesday that they were ready to compromise on President Biden’s issue. social safety net package to get a final deal, but that they still have to moderate Democratic sens. Joe Manchin and Kirsten Cinema need to hear from what they want to cut to bring the price tag down before negotiations move forward.
Bernie Sanders, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said, “It is completely opposed to senators and some members of the House to start telling us what they want.” “We’re ready to negotiate, we’re ready to compromise, but we’re not going to negotiate ourselves.”
Jayapal echoed Sanders by saying, “We still don’t have a counter-offer.”
The call highlighted the ongoing tensions Democrats face within their own ranks as the president’s agenda stalls on Capitol Hill and as the party begins to grapple with actually getting into a smaller package.
Democrats were planning a $3.5 trillion package, but both Cinema and Munchkin have said they will not go that high, with Munchkin pledging he will just spend $1.5 trillion, not even half.
While many moderates and even the president have indicated that they would prefer to cut the number of programs that would be included in the Democrats’ Social Safety Net bill to do away with those programs, progressives unified Were that they would prefer to be cut to length. programs that are currently present in the package, instead.
“Most of our members have made it clear that they support our idea of having five priority areas,” Jaipal said. “If we need to return some of them in fewer years, we’ll be more than willing to do that.”
More background: Pelosi said in a letter to Democrats last night that she thought the strategy going forward was to do “less things well,” but when pressed on that perspective today, she suggested she expected any The program would not have to be cut and instead each provision could have a time limit. The bill can be reduced to cut costs.
Sanders told reporters that expanding Medicaid provisions in the package to include dental and hearing aids is important to keep in the final version of the bill.
“It’s not negotiable to me,” said Sanders, to which Jayapal confirmed that the House Progressive Caucus had a position as well.
During the call, progressives also reaffirmed their position that the social safety net bill has to go ahead with the infrastructure bill.
“Whether the two go together or not, and we are sure both will go together,” Jaipal said.
When asked whether he thinks talks will be over by the end of October, when the expansion of highway worker funding ends, Jayapal said, “I think an arbitrary deadline is never good. We Everyone wants to work as soon as possible.”