Democrats have reportedly removed paid family and medical leave from their massive spending bill in an attempt to bring the price tag down to a level that can pass in the Senate, marking a blow to progressives who have pressed for the legislation.
The family and health focus had been touted as a key part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan. However, it’s $3.5 trillion price tag not only left out Republicans, but also two key Democrat senators.
West Virigina Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have both opposed the current form of the bill, leading to negotiations that have now removed two key parts of Biden’s bill.
Sen. Manchin has told the White House that he doesn’t support of Medicare vouchers and paid family leave components in spending bill.@LACaldwellDC: “That is a sticking point in these talks that is making it very difficult.” https://t.co/y8t9u4XXTx
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 25, 2021
The latest form of the bill is now down to approximately $1.75 trillion.
Progressives will likely push back on the bill, but it may not matter, as the bill has no chance of passing unless it it changed from its original levels.
Many Democrats also continue to connect the spending bill with a $1.2 infrastructure bill. Combined, the two bills would include nearly $5 trillion in new spending, offering short term help but potential damage to the economy for years into the future.
The battle for the spending bill will continue, but progressives will call for “more” regardless of the final price tag.