Democrats Release Budget Enabling Biden’s $3.5 Trillion Plan


Senate Democrats released the text of their budget resolution that sets up President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion economic agenda as well as a showdown with Republicans over the debt limit in September.

The budget blueprint is expected to be voted on this week in the Senate soon after final passage of the Biden’s bipartisan $550 billion infrastructure package. It allows Democrats to bypass Republicans to expand the social safety net and raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

It would be followed as soon as September with text implementing a broad a array of new education, health and climate programs as well as an extension of tax cuts for the middle class. All 50 senators who caucus with Democrats will have to unite behind it for it to prevail.

Democrats left out reconciliation instructions for an increase in the debt limit, which will have to be passed soon after Congress returns to work next month, along with a stop-gap spending bill to keep the government open after the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has vowed that Republicans won’t cooperate in lifting the federal borrowing limit.

While the budget does not include instructions for a debt limit bill bypassing a filibuster, it sets the “appropriate” level of debt each year. The envisioned debt in the blueprint would rise to $33.5 trillion in fiscal 2024, and to more than $45 trillion in 2031.

The budget blueprint, while teeing up a $3.5 trillion plan, would allow about half of it to be financed with debt.

While the Senate Finance Committee would have to reduce the deficit by a nominal $1 billion over a decade, other committees, including ones covering health, energy, the environment, agriculture and so on, would be allowed to craft provisions adding about $1.75 trillion to the deficit over a decade.

The resolution gives the Finance panel wide latitude to draft policies that would increase taxes on corporations and those making more than $400,000 a year, as well as instructs lawmakers to provide tax cuts for those making less.

Some Democrats, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have said he won’t support a final budget package that would add to the deficit.