Progressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to $2T plan
More than 100 progressive groups sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) Thursday urging him to prevent further cuts to Democrats’ $2 trillion climate and social spending bill amid intraparty negotiations.
The organizations, which include the Working Families Party, Sunrise Movement, Indivisible and Paid Leave for All, noted that several measures such as Medicare expansion for vision and dental have already been cut out of the bill, while other programs to lower drug prices and boost affordable housing have been watered down.
“In order to ensure that the budget’s current investments offer tangible improvements to the lives of working and poor people and place the U.S. on a path towards clean energy, nothing else must be cut from the bill,” the groups wrote.
The push comes as Senate Democrats prepare their version of the reconciliation package for a floor vote this month after it cleared the House in November.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who could single-handedly sink the bill in the 50-50 Senate, has said that the paid family and medical leave program shouldn’t be in the reconciliation bill and is noncommittal about keeping other measures such as the expanded child tax credit. Manchin previously weakened other sections of the bill, including its clean energy plan, following industry lobbying efforts.
He has also indicated that he wants to delay the climate and social spending bill until next year, citing rising inflation.
“We appreciate your efforts to enact bold investments in our communities to begin to solve some of our society’s biggest challenges and now is the moment to do everything in your power to ensure that we get the best, most inclusive, reconciliation bill possible across the finish line,” the progressive groups told Schumer in their letter.
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