Capitol Correspondence - 07.13.21

Congressional Democrats Continue Two-Track Approach to Infrastructure

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The Politico Pulse article below provides needed context to ANCOR members’ advocacy around the Better Care Better Jobs Act, which is likely to be included in the Democratic-led Senate infrastructure package being queued up for budget reconciliation. ANCOR supports the Better Care Better Jobs Act because it operationalizes President Biden’s call for a $400 billion investment in the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services program.

“The White House wants its bipartisan infrastructure deal on the Senate floor as early as the week of July 19, potentially bringing a quick conclusion to the lengthy negotiations over the spending package.

White House legislative officials outlined the timeline on Wednesday to Democrats on Capitol Hill, POLITICO’s Laura Barrón López and Burgess Everett report, giving lawmakers roughly two weeks to finalize what exactly will be in the bill.

Democratic leaders have sought to hammer out the details in delicate negotiations complicated by the parallel push for a separate, larger package that would be passed along party lines. But the tentative new deadline signals a fresh sense of urgency to get the infrastructure package moving before the Senate leaves for its August recess.

The infrastructure deal is still just a framework, with expectations it will add up to nearly $600 billion in new spending. The group of 20 senators who worked on the agreement has since split into subgroups focused on hashing out various details, with the hope they can put everything into legislative text by next week.

Still, significant work remains — most notably, deciding how to ensure new revenue covers the overall bill’s cost.

Senate Democrats are also outlining their larger partisan bill. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Budget Committee chair, has pushed for spending as much as $6 trillion in an expansive package that would include a series of major health reforms. But that’s already met resistance from moderate Democrats who prefer a number closer to $2 trillion.”