Senate

Warner says $3.5 trillion package ‘falls short’ on housing assistance

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) addresses reporters after a key vote regarding bipartisan infrastructure legislation on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Greg Nash

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) issued a statement Sunday arguing that Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation package “falls short” on housing assistance, which he said is crucial to increasing home ownership and closing the racial wealth gap.

“While there are many important initiatives in the House proposal, especially relating to rental assistance, just 3 percent of the $330 billion investment in banking and housing is dedicated to the cause of increasing homeownership and equity, which are some of the most significant tools available to narrow the racial wealth gap,” Warner said in a statement

“As currently written, this proposal falls short. I will be working in the Senate to make the American dream of homeownership and wealth creation more accessible to historically disadvantaged communities,” he continued.

Axios first reported on Warner’s position.

Warner’s criticism comes as Democrats are trying to keep all 50 of their senators on the same page to pass a reconciliation package loaded with Democratic priorities, including expanded health care, funding for universal pre-K, tuition-free community college and investments in housing affordability and production.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Sunday he cannot support a package if the price tag remains at $3.5 trillion.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) “will not have my vote on 3.5. And Chuck knows that. And we have talked about this,” Manchin told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”

“And we have tried to help Americans in every way we possibly can. And a lot of the help that we put out there is still there, and it’s going to run clear until next year, 2022,” Manchin continued. “What’s the urgency?”

Democrats need all 50 of their Senate members in lockstep in order to push their package through reconciliation, which would not require the usual 60 senators to pass legislation. Some Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), have criticized the West Virginia senator for opposing the legislation.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Dana Bash housing assistance Joe Manchin Joe Manchin Mark Warner Mark Warner reconciliation bill
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