House Dems Rushing to Resolve Disputes With Senate on $3.5T Spending Bill Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 25, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 02 September 2021 12:30 PM
Congressional Democrats are racing to complete the $3.5 trillion spending plan in time to meet their target date, Politico is reporting.
But some key sections of the package are in dispute as House committee leaders battle it out with their counterparts in the Senate. Those sections include expanding Medicare, strengthening Obamacare, and curbing carbon emissions, according to Politico.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has ordered her committee leaders to resolve the disputes with the Senate this week.
The House has agreed to vote by Sept. 27 on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. But Biden’s fellow Democrats don’t have much room for error as they try to approve two spending initiatives in the House and Senate, Reuters noted.
"These negotiations are never easy," said House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
And House Budget Chair John Yarmuth, D-Ky., is quoted by Politico as saying: "It is pushing it. All we can do is try."
"We're trying to kind of pre-conference this to the greatest extent" to minimize House-Senate divergence, he added.
House Democrats have not made any efforts to prepare members for the possibility that the spending bill won’t be completed when the House votes on the infrastructure bill by Sept. 27. They are still vowing they will get it all done in time.
Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., described it as "a vastly bigger effort" than enacting the pandemic aid package in March.
But Politico noted that even once the disputes are ironed out, the Senate parliamentarian will almost certainly require Democrats to make additional changes.
"It takes an immense amount of focus on detail and scrubbing," Wyden said. "It’s a lot of heavy lifting."