October 22, 2021
Democratic leaders have set the end of this week as a deadline to try to get a detailed framework for their domestic policy bill that sweeps up all of President Joe Biden’s top priorities. After months of infighting, there was a new sense of urgency and optimism this week that a deal is within reach — or at least a framework for one — that could pass the House and Senate later this fall.
Opposition to the initial $3.5 trillion price tag for the president’s “Build Back Better” plan from two key Senate moderates — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. — forced leaders and the president to trim programs, and lower expectations for those on the left.
Biden met with both progressives and moderates earlier this week. Both sides left the meetings with the realization that they can’t get everything they wanted. Now red lines have given way to real horse trading as Democrats piece together a roughly $2 trillion package.
And one sign of progress came late Thursday afternoon. Sinema has now agreed to a package of tax changes that would meet the president’s goal of fully paying for the social spending package, according to a source familiar with Sinema’s thinking. These changes would not impact the corporate rate, according to this source. The Arizona Democrat opposed changes to the current corporate tax rate, leaving the tax writing committee scrambling for alternatives to fill the gap.
As negotiations continue, here’s where things stand on some of the major policies that are expected to be included, and some that are expected to fall out.