Biden Budget Bill Now Hill Focus in Run-up to Christmas


The centerpiece of President Biden’s agenda is about to take center-stage in the Senate, with less than two weeks remaining before Democrats’ self-imposed Christmas deadline to pass the almost two trillion-dollar social spending and climate bill.

Democrats claim the bill will help with inflation by reducing costs for prescription drugs, childcare, education and more, while adding billions for rural development, ag conservation, and forestry.

Republicans oppose the House-passed bill as fueling inflation, ballooning the deficit, and increasing taxes. Though, top Ag Republican John Boozman says producers dodged one tax ‘bullet’.

“The stepped-up basis, making such that you would dramatically increase inheritance taxes, because of the push-back of the farm community. This would have been devastating to our family farms, small and medium-size, also, our small businesses, small and medium-size. We were able to push that off the table.”

But there are other new taxes, and the Congressional Budget Office says the Democrats’ bill will add three trillion to the deficit over ten years if its programs are extended, almost 400 billion if not.

Senate Budget Republican Mike Crapo says Democrats can ignore that. “They can still move forward with the reconciliation bill, and I think the fact that they are pushing so hard, right now, means that they fully intend to do so.”

While Republicans try to keep lone-moderate Democrat objector Joe Manchin, negotiating bill changes, on their side.

But Crapo and Boozman still don’t know what Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will do. Boozman says;  “We’re talking about the biggest spending bill in history, and no Republican has had any input, no Republican at this very late date. And you, correct me if I’m wrong, you’re in the middle of this, I’m in the middle of this with Agriculture, 85 billion dollars is going to be spent, I don’t have a clue, I haven’t been consulted at all, nor have any of the stakeholders.”

Schumer wants to pass the Biden agenda bill by Christmas and ahead of the 2022 election year, while Manchin fears more inflation and has urged a spending pause, but is uncertain how he’ll vote if Schumer forces a vote.