The Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday proclaimed that a deal is imminent on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better priorities, including the $3.5 trillion spending plan and the $1 trillion infrastructure agenda.
“Today is a good day for the Congressional Black Caucus, for the 3rd District, and the nation,” Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) said in a statement. “Over the past two years, amid the COVID pandemic and the destructive Trump administration, we never gave up in our fight for Black families. Finally, we now have a transformative president who hears our voices and is taking action alongside us.”
Democrats reportedly have pushed for a vote this week with Biden’s imminent departure overseas.
A team of negotiators worked almost nonstop on an agreement, which now has a price tag of about $1.75 trillion over ten years because of opposition from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
Reportedly, the party has finally united on an overall plan to extend monthly families to families with children, provide extensive tax incentives for clean energy use and give those in need childcare support, elder care, and universal prekindergarten.
Biden wants to instill a billionaire’s tax to pay for the bill.
Manchin remains at odds over the Medicare and Medicaid expansions plan, new paid family and medical leave programs, and initiatives to combat climate change. He’s also expressed opposition to lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
However, CBC members and others have reported progress, indicating that the plan’s final price tag could rise to $2 trillion.
For Beatty and CBC members, the bottom line remains equity and inclusion for Black Americans.
“Throughout our nation’s history, courageous Black Americans and members of the CBC have fought, been arrested, and died for progress,” Beatty said in the statement. “We know the stakes have always been high in defense of Black lives, so we pushed hard for HBCU funding, housing vouchers, enhanced Child Tax Credit, and other key policies.
And while voting rights and criminal justice reform was not part of the Build Back Better agenda, we continued to bring these things up because these are nonnegotiable from the CBC’s standpoint,” she said. “The Congressional Black Caucus remains committed to ensuring Black families have a seat at the table as discussions conclude. We will continue to work with the President to meet the uniqueness and urgency of this moment. We will not waiver in our commitment to Black families across this nation.”