Senate

Schumer 'hopeful' spending framework can be reached Wednesday

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he is "hopeful" that Democrats and the White House can reach a deal on a spending framework by the end of the day, though he acknowledged that sticking points remain.

"An agreement is within arm's length and we are hopeful that we can come to a framework agreement by the end of today," Schumer said.

But "we must continue working a little more to make sure it is the best deal possible for the American people," Schumer added.

Schumer's comments come as Democrats hope to get a deal on their spending framework before President Biden leaves for Rome, allowing him to tout the details while on the international stage.

But Democrats still have several unresolved issues that they need to iron out before they can reach an agreement.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is raising concerns over a so-called billionaires tax that would target unrealized gains.

"I don't like the connotation that were targeting different people," Manchin told reporters on Wednesday.

But Manchin told reporters that Democrats should "absolutely" be able to reach a framework on Wednesday.

Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are meeting with White House officials in the Capitol on Wednesday.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) also hasn't blessed the proposal from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is still trying to get Manchin's backing for a paid leave program.

And Democrats are still negotiating over expanding Medicare and Medicaid.

Schumer, on Wednesday, said that he supports a push by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to get Medicare expansion to cover vision, hearing and dental into the package as well as a drug pricing plan. Sanders has said their inclusion are red lines for him, though he's facing pushback from moderates.

"I am working especially hard to strengthen Medicare and make prescription drugs more affordable. Sen. Sanders has worked hard to push for many of these Medicare provisions and I support them," Schumer said.

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