(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden is set Thursday to announce that Democrats have reached agreement on a framework of tax and spending proposals that he’s optimistic Congress can pass, a person familiar with the matter said.
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It’s unclear how far-reaching the agreement will be and what issues — in terms of tax increases and spending on social programs — remain unresolved. Also uncertain is whether the proposal will garner the nearly unanimous Democratic support needed to make it through Congress.
Biden will go to Capitol Hill, hours before he departs for summits in Europe, to brief House Democrats on the framework that negotiators worked out with him, according to two people familiar with the matter. He’ll then speak at the White House at 11:30 a.m. Washington time.
Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday were still struggling to resolve key components including taxes, drug pricing, whether to expand Medicare benefits, and climate change provisions. They also have yet to determine whether a plan to provide a deportation shield for millions of undocumented immigrants complies with Senate rules governing the budget process known as reconciliation that would allow the plan to pass with just Democratic votes.
Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders said Wednesday night Democrats remained far apart on any deal.
“It’s not conceivable to me that we’re gonna have to deal today “ Sanders told reporters. “To my mind, there is no way. I mean, I think we got revenue issues and everything else “
Biden wanted to have an agreement, or at least a framework of one, on his broad spending plan when he arrived for a gathering of the Group of 20 leaders in Rome, followed by the United Nations climate summit in Scotland.
Democrats hope a framework deal will allow a vote this week on a stalled $550 billion infrastructure bill, but progressives have said they want a final budget bill before allowing the infrastructure measure to pass.
The announcement also comes just days before a gubernatorial election in Virginia, where polls show Democrat Terry McAuliffe tied with Republican Glenn Youngkin in a state Biden won by ten points. Democrats from Virginia have been pleading with the White House for more action on their agenda so they can show success ahead of the vote.
Biden campaigned with McAuliffe outside Washington on Tuesday, hoping to engage enough suburban voters to overwhelm Youngkin’s advantage in rural areas.
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