(ConservativeHub.com) – President Joe Biden has officially unveiled a new framework for his contentious Build Back Better infrastructure bill. The heavily stripped-back spending proposal now contains far fewer demands and a much lower $1.75 trillion price point. Will the changes convince skeptical Republicans, Moderates, and Progressives to finally agree?
Biden Speaks Out
Speaking to the press on the evening of October 28, Biden acknowledged the ongoing struggles to negotiate over the infrastructure bill. He also indicated he wasn’t fully satisfied with the many concessions made to push the bill through Congress.
Pres. Biden: "No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that's what compromise is – that's consensus and that's what I ran on." pic.twitter.com/2RjMqPOQCE
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 28, 2021
Acknowledging how difficult it was for leaders to reach a consensus, Biden encouraged Americans to focus on the importance of working together. He said compromise and consensus are “the only way to get things done.”
But will the compromise be enough to sway hesitant leaders finally? That isn’t so clear, especially when you take a closer look at just how many concessions are involved.
Missing Promises Vs. Preserved Elements
So, what’s in — and what’s out? While Republicans may still feel the bill goes too far, it’s radical Progressives who will feel the most pain from cuts.
- Medicare Changes: Democrats originally hoped to expand Medicare services to include dental care while lowering the age threshold from 65 to 55. They also sought to take aim at high prescription drug prices. All three of these elements are now gone.
- Certain Climate Measures: Leaders left in a nearly $555 billion allotment for addressing the climate. They cut funds earmarked for a Clean Electricity Performance Program, incentivizing the move away from fossil fuels.
- Paid Family and Medical Leave: Biden originally hoped to secure funding for a federal paid family and medical leave scheme that would offer Americans up to 12 weeks of coverage. That initiative didn’t make the cut.
- Free/Low-Cost College: A radical attempt to provide up to two years of free tuition at community colleges failed on October 19.
Other elements, including schemes to allocate funds for housing, college grants, child care, elder care, universal pre-K, housing, and the Affordable Care Act, remained intact. The Biden administration’s $90 billion equity and investment fund, which aims to cover a long list of smaller issues ranging from supply chain struggles to domestic violence and maternal health needs also survived.
Ultimately, Democrats managed to preserve more of the controversial Build Back Better plan than they were forced to remove. But it’s unclear whether it be enough to convince Republicans and Moderates to sign on, pushing it through Congress. So far, Democrats say they still lack the votes.
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