House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that Democrats are poised to reach an agreement on President Joe Biden’s social spending package, although the price tag is not yet clear.
“We have 90 percent of the bill agreed to and written. We just have some of the last decisions to be made,” Pelosi told on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “I think we are pretty much there now,” Pelosi added when pressed on whether an agreement would be made before this Friday.
Democrats have struggled to agree on a framework of $2 trillion or less that will allow the House of Representatives to move forward next week on a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and set the stage for passage of Biden’s climate-change and social welfare agenda.
All Republicans have opposed the social spending package, but in August, approximately 20 GOP senators voted in favor of the infrastructure bill. Since then, the House’s leadership has held off on passing the bill as the leftist House Progressive Caucus has frequently signaled that the infrastructure bill can’t be passed without the larger package.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a moderate Democrat who has objected to portions of, and the price of, the mammoth spending package, are scheduled to meet on Sunday.
Manchin as well as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have voiced opposition to the initial, $3.5 trillion social spending package before the measure was cut down to $2 trillion in recent days. Both Manchin, who last week denied reports he was planning to leave the Democratic Party, as well as Sinema have opposed the size and scope of the bill.
During the interview, Pelosi confirmed the development, saying that “Schumer and Manchin are having the meeting on some of the particulars that need to be finalized,” and “I’m optimistic that we can do that.” Unconfirmed reports citing White House officials asserted that the two Democrats would also meet with Biden on Sunday.
Votes on the infrastructure and social spending plan, Pelosi also said, would be held in the coming days, adding that paid leave could be included in the final package.
“That’s our hope, that’s what we’re fighting for,” she said in response to whether paid leave can be included, while also suggesting that an expansion of Medicare is also “part of the negotiation” but cautioned: “Dental is very expensive.”
“Dental will take a little longer to implement,” Pelosi said. “We’ve been told by people who know about these things that it’ll take five or six years in order to implement the dental. So how do we, shall we say, fill in the blank there?”
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times