Another Democratic senator has threatened to hold up Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion agenda as liberals chafe at resistance from Joe Manchin (D-WV).
While Manchin thinks the current proposal is too big and expensive, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D) thinks it does not go far enough. According to Breitbart, Warner told Axios that the $3.5 trillion bill should be enlarged to provide support to Black Americans looking to buy homes.
“As currently written, this proposal falls short,” Warner said.
Biden faces pushback among Dems
Although Warner played a major role in putting together the $3.5 trillion bill, he says that a $600 million pot of money is too small to close a racial gap in homeownership.
“We have an obligation to use this historic investment to address longstanding inequities of power and opportunity that have left Black families with an average net worth one-10th the size of their white counterparts,” he told Axios.
The Senate passed its budget resolution in August, setting the stage for a late September vote on a huge bill bringing Biden’s top priorities together in one package.
Democrats plan to pass the “human infrastructure” bill, which includes universal pre-K, free community college, and amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, through an unusual process called budget reconciliation that would allow them to act unilaterally — but only if all Democrats vote “yes.”
Congress returns with busy agenda
While every vote counts, it’s hard to tell how sincere or widespread Warner’s position is. Is Warner just trying to make his party’s bonkers $3.5 trillion ask sound moderate?
It is hard to imagine Democrats flinching if given the chance to brazenly ram an agenda this big through Congress without a single Republican vote.
The biggest obstacle they face is Manchin. The moderate is concerned about inflation and the national debt and says there is no “rush” to pass Biden’s plan, but with the midterm elections a little over a year away, Biden and his close allies certainly don’t share that sentiment.
As reports note, Manchin has faced backlash from progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his socialist protégé in the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
Congress is returning from August recess with a busy schedule. The $3.5 trillion bill is top of the agenda. A separate $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill that has Republican support has been placed on the back-burner by Pelosi, with a tentative Sept. 27 deadline to vote on it.