Narrow vote of the MPs: Biden’s trillion package survives the first vote

Narrow vote of the MPs
Biden’s trillion package survives first vote

The House of Representatives resolves a core project of the US President: a billion dollar investment package for social and climate protection. But the proposed law is far from being there – because of some of Biden’s party friends, the approval of the Senate is anything but certain.

After an extremely long hanging game, the US House of Representatives has decided on another core domestic political project by President Joe Biden. The Congress Chamber passed a trillion dollar package with investments in social and climate protection with a slim majority of the Democrats. The approval of the second Chamber of Congress, the US Senate, is still pending. It is questionable whether the more than 2000-page legislative package will get through there in the same way. There should still be changes.

The vote in the House of Representatives is still an essential step for Biden. The president had negotiated personally with party colleagues for months in order to overcome resistance in his own ranks to his investment plans, to reconcile different positions of the party wings and to organize a majority in Congress. At least he managed to do that in the House of Representatives.

Democrat Manchin needs to talk

Originally, Biden had targeted a social and climate investment package worth $ 3.5 trillion. Moderate Democrats, however, resisted such high spending and forced the president to abandon parts of his plans in the tough negotiations. He finally cut the package by half to 1.75 trillion US dollars (1.54 trillion euros).

There were again additions in the House of Representatives. How the final version will look is the subject of negotiations in the Senate, where the Democrats only have a wafer-thin majority and cannot allow themselves a single deviator from within their own ranks. However, individual Democratic senators have indicated that there is still a need for discussion, above all Joe Manchin from West Virginia.

Among other things, the package envisages reducing the – up to now sometimes extremely high – costs of childcare for many families in the country and partly taking over them entirely by the state, relieving families of taxation and expanding health services. More than $ 500 billion has also been earmarked for the fight against the climate crisis, including investments in renewable energies and tax incentives for the purchase of electric cars.

Most recently, the Democrats in the House of Representatives had included several things back in the package, including paid family time after the birth of a child or for caring for relatives. This project – a matter close to the heart for left-wing democrats – could fall out again in the Senate in the face of resistance from moderate party colleagues. The package is to be financed through tax increases for corporations and top earners as well as through the more consistent collection of due taxes.

Wing fight in Biden’s party

The vote on the legislative package was originally scheduled for Thursday evening. House minority Republican leader Kevin McCarthy delayed the vote with an eight-hour speech marathon. He used the debate for a general settlement with the President and the Democrats. McCarthy accused them of ruining the country with their policies.

Just two weeks ago, Congress passed another core project by the President: a major investment program to modernize the country’s infrastructure. Around 550 billion US dollars (476 billion euros) of new investments in infrastructure are planned over the next few years. In total – including previously budgeted funds – the package is worth more than one trillion US dollars.

A violent dispute among Biden’s democrats over the second social and climate package had held up the infrastructure plans for a long time. The heavy wing battles between the left and the moderates in the party have dominated the public discussion of the major projects in recent months. Biden’s government is now trying harder to convince the citizens of how they will benefit from the plans – also in the face of falling polls for the president. Both packages are central projects in Biden.

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