White House pitches House Democrats on messaging for $3.5T spending plan

White House pitches House Democrats on messaging for $3.5T spending plan
© Getty Images

The White House sent a memo to House Democratic offices on Tuesday to provide messaging guidance for President BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE's economic agenda ahead of the lower chamber's return from recess.

White House communications director Kate BedingfieldKate BedingfieldTucker Carlson mocks Buttigieg over paternity leave Pelosi faces one big final battle Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions MORE sent the three-page memo to all House Democratic communications directors to encourage lawmakers to use similar talking points on the $3.5 trillion spending package, which Democrats are pushing to pass without GOP support.

“We aim to tell a clear story about what the Build Back Better agenda will do to level the playing the field for working people, make corporations and the wealthiest pay their fair share and lower costs that are critical for working families, like prescription drugs, home care, and child care; as well as the growing costs of climate change,” Bedingfield said in the memo, which was obtained by The Hill.


The House is set to return from its recess on Sept. 20, while senators are scheduled to return to Washington on Monday.

Bedingfield said the package will "level the playing field" for workers without adding to the deficit, adding that its cost will be covered by wealthy Americans and corporations paying more in taxes.

She also said the package gives the middle class “breathing room” by lowering taxes through the child tax credit, lowering health care costs by reducing premiums on the Affordable Care Act exchange, lowering prescription drug costs and lowering child care costs through universal preschool.

In another talking point for House Democrats, the White House emphasized the role of Biden's agenda in tackling the climate crisis and offered responses to Republicans who oppose the package. 

“We face a fundamental choice in America right now as we rebuild our economy: this time, will everyone get in on the deal? President Biden knows whose side he’s on: the backbone of this country, the middle class,” Bedingfield said. “And Republicans who oppose the Build Back Better agenda have chosen whose side they are on, too. They are fighting to protect tax cuts for the wealthiest and for their big corporate donors at the expense of American families.” 

“Should we let millions of children grow up in poverty in order to protect offshore tax loopholes that only benefit big and profitable multinational corporations? Should we allow the catastrophic effects of climate change to disproportionately harm middle class and working families while undermining our national security?” she added.

Before the recess, House moderates got a commitment to bring up the roughly $1 trillion Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill for a vote by Sept. 27. In the Senate, Democrats are aiming to approve their $3.5 trillion spending package through reconciliation to bypass a Republican filibuster and pass the legislation with a simple majority.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Progressives see budget deal getting close after Biden meeting Democrats at odds with Manchin over child tax credit provision MORE (D-W.Va.) last week called for his Democratic colleagues to “hit the pause button” on pushing through the spending deal, while House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing Fixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday dismissed his call, saying Democrats are “on a good timetable.”