Getting out of abstract calculations, talking about the daily concerns of Americans, making his projects sustainable: Joe Biden had all these concerns in mind, Thursday, October 21, by reviving the tradition of town hall, these popular public meetings in the United States. The discussion, broadcast on the CNN channel, allowed the president to defend his two major legislations, currently negotiated by trebuchet between Democrats in Congress: that on infrastructure ($ 1,200 billion, or 1,030 billion euros over ten years ) and above all the “Build Back Better” (BBB) social package, which provides for the overhaul of the welfare state. “We can do it”, estimated the American president, empathetic and precise in his answers.
Parental leave, dental and ophthalmic care, home help: Joe Biden went into the details of the current discussions, assuming the waivers and the cuts, confirming the points of tension with the two so-called centrist Democratic senators, who stand in the way of the adoption of BBB: Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona). After contenting himself for weeks with orchestrating the negotiations behind the scenes, Joe Biden has placed himself in the front line for the final push. On Wednesday evening, the Democratic president visited his hometown of Scranton, Pa., Where he spoke, at the Rail Transportation Museum. It is already the record of his presidency, nothing less, which is being played out in this fateful period. The mid-term elections, in the fall of 2022, will freeze political life, before the switch to the presidential election already takes place.
The progressive camp of the Democratic Party had hoped that the overall amount of the BBB plan could reach $ 6 trillion. As early as the summer, the White House had reduced this hope to 3,500 billion, by promising funding through tax justice measures. But already, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema were slowing everything down. Too expensive, too large, too extensive in time. It is now a question of a global envelope of between 1,600 and 2,000 billion dollars, to the fury of the left of the party, which camped on maximalist positions that do not take into account a reality: the fragility of the majority in the Senate (50/50), relying on the sole voice of the Vice-President, Kamala Harris.
Fear of inflation
Joe Manchin opposes the extension of medical coverage (Medicare). Kyrsten Sinema – “Devilishly clever” according to Joe Biden – continues to reject higher tax rates for high income individuals and large groups. This poses a fiscal and political problem for the White House, which has promised its plan will cost nothing, excluding any tax hikes for people earning less than $ 400,000 a year. Democrats in the House of Representatives have suggested an increase in corporate tax from 21% to 26.5% – which Kyrsten Sinema refuses -, and the maximum income tax rate from 37% to 39.6 %.
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