Joe Biden outlines heavily pared-back $1.75 trillion spending deal he hopes will revive presidency

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The proposal is half what Mr Biden initially hoped to secure following resistance from moderate Democratic senators

Joe Biden outlines heavily pared-back $1.75 trillion spending deal he hopes will revive presidency
Biden outlines heavily pared-back $1.75tn spending deal he hopes will revive presidency
The president has been locked in negotiations with members of his own party for weeks in order to secure a legacy-defining piece of legislation CREDIT: Evan Vucci /AP

Joe Biden has announced a revised $1.75 trillion social sending plan in a desperate bid to save what he hoped would be the cornerstone of his presidency.

Mr Biden delayed his departure for the G20 in Rome by several hours as he held crunch talks with fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill on Thursday morning, seeking agreement from his party.

The clock was ticking as Mr Biden tried to resolve an impasse that has dogged him for months before leaving for Europe.

His proposal was just half the $3.5 trillion in spending he initially sought, and represented a climbdown from what he campaigned on.

Promises he abandoned included providing paid family leave.

The White House said it still included the “largest effort to combat climate change in American history.”

Mr Biden wanted to arrive at Cop26 in Glasgow having made concrete progress in the US on investment in climate change initiatives.

His proposal includes $555 billion in climate change initiatives.

Opposition to Mr Biden’s original levels of spending was led by two moderate Democrat senators – Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – and they had still to sign on to the new plan.

There were also sceptics on the left wing of the party.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York congresswoman, said: “I think we need something a little bit more than just something on the back of an envelope.’

The White House said Mr Biden was confident Democrats will support it, ending weeks of wrangling and delivering a political victory hours before he departs for the G20 in Rome and Cop26.

Arriving on Capitol Hill, Mr Biden said: “It’s a good day. Everybody’s on board.”

Mr Biden’s dramatic last-minute gambit will present Democrats with a deal too good to refuse, senior aides believe.

Putting the full prestige of his presidency on the line, Mr Biden was on Thursday morning unveiling the framework agreement to Democratic leaders.

He was then address the American people from the White House, before heading to the airport to board Air Force One.

The White House said Mr Biden will lay out a compromise outline of legislation pouring $1.75 trillion into education, childcare, clean energy and other social services.

This is much less than the original $3.5 trillion price tag Mr Biden and left-leaning Democrats wanted.

However, this would still represent a win a year after Mr Biden, 78, defeated Donald Trump with a promise to heal America’s “soul.”

Weeks of Democratic feuding over both the details and costs have threatened to sink the bill, along with a second initiative meant to invest an additional $1.2 trillion in America’s crumbling infrastructure.

Biden outlines heavily pared-back $1.75tn spending deal he hopes will revive presidency
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has so far refused to sign off on any of Joe Biden’s proposals for the deal CREDIT: ELIZABETH FRANTZ /REUTERS

Mr Biden is now sure he has Congress ready to accept his deal, although the timing of a vote remains up to the Democratic speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

“The president believes this framework will earn the support of all 50 Democratic senators and pass the House,” a senior White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

An official said the two bills Mr Biden wants will “make historic investments” and that the White House is “confident” in getting Democrats to unite.

Mr Biden was set to meet with Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives in private, before returning to the White House for a speech at 11:30 am (1530 GMT). He will depart for Rome shortly after.

Biden outlines heavily pared-back $1.75tn spending deal he hopes will revive presidency
After speaking to the American public, Joe Biden will fly to Rome to meet the Pope CREDIT: Andrew Medichini /AP

Mr Biden will “speak to the American people about the path forward for his economic agenda and the next steps to getting it done,” another White House official said.

The Democrats enjoy a rare period of controlling both houses of Congress and the presidency.

However, their control of the Senate is y the narrowest possible margin.

The chamber is split 50-50 with Republicans and the Vice President, Kamala Harris, has a casting vote.

That means Mr Biden needs the votes of both Mr Manchin and Ms Sinema to pass his legislaton.

Responding to criticism that the pending deal has been watered down too far, a White House official said Mr Biden’s framework will still “make historic investments in the United States.”

This official said: “This will be the most transformative investment in children and caregiving in generations, the largest effort to combat climate change in history, and historic tax cut for tens of millions of middle class families, and the biggest expansion of affordable health care in a decade.”

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