RECONCILIATION PLAN

What can democrats include in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan?

The Democratic Party took their fist step Wednesday in passing a $3.5 trillion spending plan as they managed to dodge Republicans in the Senate.

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What can democrats include in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan?
CHIP SOMODEVILLA AFP

Having released the framework for a $3.5 trillion budget plan, Democrats now have an open path to approve investments in child care, climate change and paid leave without the need of Republican support at Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a letter Monday transmitting Democrats how proud he is for the great progress they are making in making people's lives better.

"When we took the majority in the Senate earlier this year, the American people entrusted us with a great responsibility: to make their lives better," Schumer wrote in the text. "I am happy to report that we are making great progress towards that goal."

“The Democratic budget will bring a generational transformation to how our economy works for average Americans.”

Schumer

In addition, Schumer emphasized the fact that the measure conducts committees to write an appropriate legislation before Sept. 15 for the $3.5 trillion spending on climate change, family leave, health care, education and child care.

Democrats manage to dodge the GOP

Republicans have presented their disapproval for additional spending in several occasions and have publicly said they will not give any help when it comes to measures that increase the debt limit.

In a speech on the Senate floor Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denied any possibility of further Republican support in any measure that implies debt increase, no matter what the situation is and described Democratic plans as "reckless".

"If our colleagues want to ram through yet another reckless tax and spending spree without our input, if they want all this spending and debt to be their signature legacy, they should leap at the chance to own every bit of it," McConnell said. "Let me make something perfectly clear: If they don't need or want our input, they won't get our help with the debt limit increase that these reckless plans will require."

However, in order to dodge the Republican Party's opposition, Democrats are making use of the so-called "budget reconciliation" to approve the measure, including President Joe Biden's plans for child and elder care, Medicare, universal pre-K as well as paid leave for family and sick.

The budget framework approval is just the first step to pass the reconciliation plan. However, it makes things much easier as it takes bipartisian support out of the picture. Democrats now have "fast-pass" to overtake the Senate with no need of GOP approval.

How is the sharing done?

The approved budget plan includes specific information aimed at committees such as how the fund sharing is going to be done among the targets.

  • $726 billion for the Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee to widely tackle some of the Democratic top concerns, including universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, child care for working families, tuition-free community college, funding for historically black colleges and universities and an extension of the Pell Grant for higher education.
  • $332 billion for the Banking Committee, specifically instructed to use the budget in public housing investment, affordability, the Housing Trust Fund, as well as equity and community land trusts.
  • $198 billion for the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, aimed at clean energy development.
  • $135 billion for the Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, specifically aimed at coping with forest fire issues, carbon emission reduction and drought rising problems.
  •  $107 billion for the Judiciary Committee, aimed at "lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants."