House panel set to take up Democrats' $3.5T bill this weekend

House panel set to take up Democrats' $3.5T bill this weekend
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Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDemocrats at odds with Manchin over child tax credit provision The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden, Democrats dig into legislative specifics Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms MORE (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said his panel will begin to mark up the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending plan this week.

Yarmuth told reporters on Thursday afternoon that the panel will start piecing together the chunks of legislation approved by 13 House committees earlier this month that will make up the massive package. 

“We put all of them together and that's the bill,” Yarmuth explained, noting the markup process in the panel is “not the same as it isn't any other committees,” and won’t involve amendments. 

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The committee confirmed later on Thursday evening that the markup will take place virtually on Saturday afternoon. 

Democrats are struggling to put together a deal on the massive plan, and face a Monday deadline to vote on a separate infrastructure package. House progressives are threatening to vote against that piece of legislation unless the larger package receives a vote first.

Yarmuth on Thursday said it’s possible the bipartisan physical infrastructure deal could pass next week, but added he’s spoken to “a lot of progressives who are not ready to vote for the bill Monday.”

Tensions have simmered between different factions of the party in recent weeks as spending negotiations reached a boiling point over the forthcoming reconciliation package.

A number of moderates have expressed concerns about the size of the package, particularly its price tag, as well as certain proposals for corporate tax hikes, prescription drug reform and Medicare expansion.

Many progressives separately have doubled down on the need for much of those proposals, touting their popularity, and some have argued the package should be even larger than $3.5 trillion.

“We compromised – big time. We cut that proposal almost in half and agreed to a $3.5 trillion bill. That to my mind is a major compromise,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats Democrats say they're committed to reducing emissions in Biden plan MORE (I-Vt.) said on the floor earlier on Thursday.

But in his remarks later in the day, Yarmuth instead urged Democrats not to get bogged down about the price tag and to focus on the policy.

“I've tried to stress from the beginning, you know, we shouldn't even be talking about a top line number,” he said. “We should be talking about the policies, because the policies are overwhelmingly popular in the country.”

Scott Wong contributed. Updated at 10 p.m.