- In response to pressure from parts of his party, US President Joe Biden has dramatically cut his planned package of investments in social and climate protection.
- $1.75 trillion is now scheduled to be spent. Originally, Biden had targeted a package that was twice the size and value of $3.5 trillion.
- He is still defending his plan. After difficult negotiations with his party, he is now taking a stand.
Biden’s lofty investment plans were frustrated by parts of his party, the Democrats. Some resisted such high spending and, in months of negotiations, forced the president to abandon parts of his plans.
But Biden remains convinced of his plan and also of the view that the project will be financially manageable: “He’s responsible for the budget.” The president says all costs are covered and funded by higher corporate taxes and higher income earners.
It’s about ensuring competitiveness
Biden says the investments have what it takes to “real change” in the country. If nothing is done, other countries threaten to overwhelm the United States. It’s not about “left versus right,” “moderate versus progressive,” but about whether the United States leads the world or the world is outperforming it, the Democrat warned.
Instead of $3.5 trillion, there was now a $1.75 trillion compromise package. “No one got everything they wanted.” This also applies to him. But that’s what compromise looks like, says Biden. Intense negotiations between Biden and various partisan wings continued for months in order to organize a majority of the plans. These investments are an important task for Biden, as this package is one of the primary domestic political projects of his presidency.
However, it was not initially clear whether the majority needed for the watered-down package would now appear in both houses of Congress. White House staff expressed confidence in that. At the same time, Biden also began a large package of investments in the country’s infrastructure, which has not yet been decided in Congress.
555 billion for climate
Immediately after visiting Congress and appearing at the White House, Biden set off for Europe, where he will participate in the G-20 summit in Rome and the global climate conference in Glasgow in the coming days. Climate protection should also play an important role in the G20 meeting. So Biden and the White House have intensified their efforts in the past few days to come to an agreement on the social and climate package before the European trip in order to be able to demonstrate something internationally – in terms of climate, but also with a view to Biden’s political power and support for his agenda at home.
The $1.75 trillion package includes, among other things, $555 billion to combat the climate crisis, including investments in renewable energies or tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles. The package will be funded by tax increases for corporations and high-income earners as well as by more consistent collection of taxes owed.
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