The House Rules Committee will discuss portions of President Biden's massive social spending package on Thursday, the same day the president is set to head to Europe for a high-stakes global climate summit, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday afternoon.
Yet there remains no agreement on key elements of the nascent legislation, let alone a final legislative text, as liberals and moderates continue to joust over the size, scope and how to pay for the enormous package.
Given the remaining hurdles, the Rules Committee, which typically marks up legislation as the last step before it hits the floor for a vote, is conducting a rare "hearing" instead — a signal that Democratic leaders want to project appearances of major progress in the negotiations without having a final product to unveil.
"[W]e are close to agreement on the priorities and the topline of the legislation, which can and must pass the House and Senate," Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democrats.
An agreement on the social benefits package is crucial to the success of another piece of Biden's domestic agenda: a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that has already passed through the Senate and is awaiting a House vote. Liberals in the lower chamber have blocked that proposal to pressure their moderate colleagues to get behind the larger — but less popular — social benefits package, which is opposed by every Republican in both the House and Senate.
Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have sought to break through that liberal resistance and stage an infrastructure vote this week by securing a "framework" agreement on the larger package. That would lend Biden a victory before he heads overseas, where he could tout specific steps the United States is taking to combat gl... (Read more)
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