Democrats’ spending plan might be cut in half. What’s still in it, will progressives support it?

The U.S. Capitol building is seen at night in Washington D.C. President Biden’s Build Back Better spending plan might be reduced to $1.9 trillion — from $3.5 trillion — as negotiations continue. Photo by Shutterstock.

President Biden on Tuesday stated that his Build Back Better spending plan might be whittled down to a maximum of $1.9 trillion. It’s part of an effort to win unanimous support from Senate Democrats. 

Progressive and moderate Democrats told NPR this week that free community college tuition likely will be cut from the plan. Other likely casualties: efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and 12 weeks of paid leave for workers. It’s a big blow to the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, which wanted to stick to the plan’s original price tag of $3.5 trillion. 

Congressman Ted Lieu, who represents Santa Monica, tells Press Play which parts of the plan are most important to him: “I love the workforce development part … as well as funding for universal preschool. Study after study shows that the most impact you have on a human being’s life is in ages 0 through 5. So if we could get funding in for universal preschool, that would be a game changer. I also want to extend the tax credit for families with children, as well as provide elder care, and there is a lot more provisions in this bill that helps families.” 

Credits

Guests:

  • Ted Lieu - U.S. Congressman who represents California’s 33rd congressional district - @tedlieu
  • Eugene Daniels - White House correspondent for Politico