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Sunday, 26 September 2021

Senate Dems offer $3.5 trln for 'human infrastructure'

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Senate Dems offer $3.5 trln for 'human infrastructure'
Senate Dems offer $3.5 trln for 'human infrastructure'

[NFA] U.S. President Joe Biden's drive for big new infrastructure investment got a boost on Tuesday when leading Senate Democrats agreed on a $3.5 trillion investment plan they aim to include in a budget resolution to be debated soon.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

[SCHUMER]: "The budget committee has come to an agreement." Senate Democrats unveiled a $3.5 trillion dollar investment plan that would come on top of an existing $1.2 trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer excitedly announced the measure late Tuesday.

[SCHUMER]: "Every major program that President Biden has asked us for is funded in a robust way." The Democratic spending bill would fund what President Joe Biden has called "human infrastructure," including healthcare and home care workers, and might not need a single Republican vote.

Schumer said the agreement, which still must be endorsed by the 50-member Senate Democratic caucus, would include a significant expansion of the Medicare healthcare program for the elderly - a top goal of Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders.

[SANDERS]: "The wealthy and large corporations are going to start paying their fair share of taxes, so that we can protect the working families in this country and all over America." Sanders suggested plan would include tax hikes on wealthy individuals and large corporations, and would include provisions to combat climate change.

[SANDERS]: "If we do not get our act together in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel, that the planet we're going to be leaving our children and our grandchildren will be increasingly unhealthy and uninhabitable." Further details were expected on Wednesday, when Biden will meet with Senate Democrats to discuss the plan.

The Senate's 50 Republicans are not expected to back the broader infrastructure effort.

That forces Democrats to pursue the plan through what's known as budget "reconciliation," a procedure that permits some bills to become law with a simple majority vote.