Senate Passes $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan, Advancing Sweeping Safety Net Expansion
“You spend money like drunken sailors,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the top Republican on the budget committee. “You set in motion, I think, the demise of America as we know it. You are setting up a government that no one can afford.
The proposed changes, many of which were rejected based on parties, were non-binding and aimed more at building a political record against the most vulnerable Democratic senators likely to be re-elected in 2022 than becoming law. Some Republicans have said the gist of their proposals will wait until later legislation ends, when changes can actually be passed.
“The next vote-a-rama is the one that really matters, because then you are shooting live ammunition,” said Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania. “So I’m a lot more interested in this one than this one. “
The period of hours began with a vote that would ban funding or regulation to establish the Green New Deal, with Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso saying such a provision “will reduce the quality of life for Americans – millions and millions of Americans will suffer. “
“I have no problem voting for this amendment because it has nothing to do with the Green New Deal,” replied Sanders. The amendment was passed unanimously, with Democratic sponsors of the legislation dismissing it as “a tired and unsuccessful Republican attempt to throw speed bumps on the road to climate action.”
Democrats have worked to stay stuck on pushing back on many Republican proposals, including a provision by Iowa Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley that would prevent changing the cap on how much taxpayers can deduct from state and local taxes. Democrats in high-tax states, particularly New York, New Jersey and California, have made raising or repealing the cap a priority, and a partial repeal is being discussed for inclusion in final legislation. .
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