Online Originals: Congressman Butterfield, state Democrats push ‘Build Back Better’ as party negotiations continue

Politics

GREENVILLE, N.C (WNCT) — North Carolina Democrats held a press conference on Monday in Greenville, highlighting President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation plan. The plan looks to create jobs, cut taxes and lower costs for working families.  

Passing Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation has not only faced Republican opposition, but also infighting between the Democrats over the price tag.  A majority of Republicans have opposed the plan mostly due to left-leaning social policies like a green energy mandate. 

What’s in Democrats’ Build Back Better plan? A lot of Americans don’t know – CBS News poll – CBS News

Democrats can pass the “Build Back Better” plan with a House and Senate majority, but there have been issues with two moderate Democrats in the Senate, Sen. Joe Manchin (WVa.) and  Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) holding out their vote. They say the $3.5 trillion price tag is too much.  North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield acknowledges it’s up to the Democrats to get this passed, saying it will take aggressive negotiations. 

“When you’re engaged in politics, when you’re engaged in legislating, you got to make some concessions, so I am willing to support a lesser price tag for this legislation,” says Butterfield.  

Biden says he’s open to shortening length of new programs

President Biden met with House Democrats and is willing to lessen the price tag to $1.8 trillion, but that could eliminate programs and funding laid out in the legislation,  like changes to the Child Tax Credit. Biden will speak with Democrats again on Tuesday. As for the passage of the bill, Butterfield said to expect movement in the U.S. House by Thursday. 

An independent nonprofit laid out how the 3.5 trillion dollar plan would be paid for.

Here’s a summary of what’s in the Build Back Better Act, as provided by the Congressional Research Service.

This bill provides funding, establishes programs, and otherwise modifies provisions relating to a broad array of areas, including education, labor, child care, health care, taxes, immigration, and the environment.

For example, the bill provides funding for

  • management of the National Forest System
  • job placement and career services
  • safe drinking water, energy-efficiency, and weatherization projects
  • electric vehicles and zero-emission, heavy-duty vehicles
  • public health infrastructure and supply chain resiliency
  • housing, rental, and homeowner assistance programs
  • cybersecurity programs
  • tribal infrastructure, housing, environmental, and health programs
  • wildfire prevention, drought relief, conservation efforts, and climate change research
  • small business assistance and development
  • transit services and clean energy projects in low-income communities
  • infrastructure and administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs

Additionally, the bill establishes programs to provide

  • up to six semesters of free community college
  • free child care for children under the age of six
  • free universal preschool services
  • health benefits for eligible individuals who reside in states that have not expanded Medicaid

The bill also includes provisions that

  • establish a methane fee for certain petroleum and natural gas facilities
  • expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing, and vision care
  • provide certain aliens with a path to permanent resident status (e.g., those who entered the United States as minors)
  • provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave
  • restructure and increase the tax rates for certain corporations and high-income individuals (e.g., individuals with income over $400,000)
  • require the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate maximum prices for certain brand-name drugs under Medicare

Update 10/19/20 – The RNC released the following statement regarding NCDP’s Press Tour:

“If North Carolina Democrats truly cared about small businesses, they would be meeting with business owners and employees like  Republicans did last week, not holding yet another news conference to spew D.C. talking points. Joe Biden and the Democrats’ out-of-control spending and skyrocketing consumer prices are preventing small businesses from thriving, and North Carolinians will hold them accountable come 2022.” -RNC Spokeswoman Alex Nolley

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