WASHINGTON (AFP) — Top US Senate Democrats agreed late Tuesday on a $3.5 trillion package to implement President Joe Biden’s vast plans to fund climate initiatives, health insurance and human infrastructure programs like child care, social welfare and housing.
The huge proposal would direct federal funds to a sweeping array of projects over the coming decade that Biden has outlined as his top priorities but which have encountered fierce pushback from opposition Republicans.
All 11 Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee emerged from an evening meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to announce they had decided on a budget number.
The Democrats’ aim is to turn the agreement into a budget resolution that, if it is able to clear both chambers of Congress, would allow lawmakers to enact the massive spending legislation without assistance from Republicans.
A budget resolution allows the Democrats who narrowly control the Senate to circumvent filibuster blocking tactics that otherwise require 60 votes to overcome in the 100-seat chamber, rather than a simple majority.
Democrats used the same procedural move in March to pass Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package.