President Biden conceded to a smaller price tag for his once-massive $3.5 trillion social spending package, now expected to land somewhere between $1.9 and $2.3 trillion.
“I want to make sure that we have a package that everyone can agree on,” Biden told reporters. “It’s not going to be $3.5 trillion. It’s going to be less than that.”
Biden’s plan includes required paid family and medical leave, expanded Medicare coverage, and extended tax breaks for certain Americans.
Previously, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. VA) insisted on a $1.5 trillion price point for the plan and means-testing of some programs.
“My number’s been 1.5,” Manchin said Wednesday, adding that he wants to avoid turning the country into “an entitlement society.”
Biden finds himself between and a rock and a hard place with moderate and progressive Democrats. Progressives repeatedly insist on a higher price point.
During a virtual meeting on Monday, Rep. Pramilia Jayapal (D-WA), the Congressional Progressive Caucus leader, told Biden that she wanted a $2.5 to $2.9 trillion figure.