Biden discusses Republican demands to drastically cut stimulus spending

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  trotskys-spectre  •  4 weeks ago  •  43 comments

By:   Patrick Martin

Biden discusses Republican demands to drastically cut stimulus spending
Despite the praise of “negotiation” and “bipartisanship,” the position of the 10 Republicans was more akin to a demand for preemptive surrender...

It speaks volumes that Biden seeks 'unity' with a fascistic faction viciously opposed to working class interests. The US working class must note this and draw the appropriate conclusions.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Democratic President Joe Biden met with 10 Republican senators Monday in his first public engagement in the effort to pass an emergency COVID-19 rescue package through Congress. The 10 Republicans, headed by Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, sought the meeting in a letter to Biden sent on Sunday, which produced an immediate invitation to the White House.

Despite the praise of “negotiation” and “bipartisanship,” the position of the 10 Republicans was more akin to a demand for preemptive surrender. While Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion package—itself completely inadequate to meet the massive social need caused by the pandemic—the Republican counter-offer was only $600 billion, less than a third, and with numerous provisions in the Biden plan entirely eliminated.

For example, the Republicans would scrap the proposed rise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next five years. The federal minimum has remained at an abysmal $7.25 an hour for the past 11 years, and even the higher rate leaves a single mother with a child, working full-time, year-round, living well below the poverty line.

The Republican plan would entirely eliminate $300 billion in aid to state and local governments, whose budgets have been devastated by the plunge in tax revenues due to the shutdown of much of the US economy, combined with increased expenditures for health care and other social services, made necessary by the pandemic. US states and cities are, for the most part, legally barred from running budget deficits and have had to slash spending by huge amounts.

This proposal is particularly provocative because there was limited aid to state and local governments in the CARES Act passed 11 months ago, when Republicans controlled the Senate and Trump was in the White House. Trump and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell blocked any further aid in subsequent bills, claiming that it would amount to a bailout of states and cities mismanaged by Democratic governors and mayors. Now, with the Democrats in control of the White House, the Senate and the House, this group of Republicans demands a continuation of the Trump-McConnell blockade.

The only area where the Republicans claim to agree with the initial Biden plan is direct spending for vaccination and care of COVID-19 patients, where both sides would agree to spend $160 billion, a sum that is unlikely to cover the actual costs if the vaccination rate accelerates to 1.5 million or 2 million per day.

One of the cruelest aspects of the Republican plan is the elimination of a proposed increase in federal supplemental unemployment insurance from $300 to $400 a week. The $300-a-week supplement, set in legislation enacted in December and signed into law by Trump, would continue at that level rather than expiring March 15. But, unlike the Biden version, which raised the benefit to $400 and extended it to September 30, the Republican counteroffer would freeze the benefit at $300 and extend it only to June 30.

There is no serious prospect that the tidal wave of new unemployment claims will have evaporated by June. New filings for unemployment compensation have been between 700,000 and one million each week for the past several months. When applications for special pandemic-related benefits filed by contingent workers and the self-employed are included, the total of new claims for unemployment compensation has been more than one million a week since last April.

In addition, the Republican plan would slash the proposed one-time relief check from $1,400 to $1,000 and lower the income level for eligibility to receive a full check from $75,000 to $50,000 a year. The $1,400 was already a reduction by Biden, who campaigned in the Georgia Senate runoffs claiming that if voters elected Democrats and gave the party control of the Senate, $2,000 checks would immediately be issued. Later, Biden claimed that he meant $1,400, on top of the $600 checks to be sent out under the bailout bill passed by Congress in December.

According to one analysis, the combination of lower dollar amounts and tightened restrictions on eligibility would cut the cost of the relief checks in half, from $465 billion under Biden’s plan to $220 billion under the Republican plan. Some 29 million people, mainly middle-income (in 2019, before the pandemic), would become ineligible for the payment.

Biden continued to make a show of sticking to his $1.9 trillion target. He and his spokespeople have repeatedly declared that the main danger is a package that is too small, not too large.

But the Democratic president made an effusive show of welcome to the 10 Republicans, treating their demands for outright capitulation as though they were a genuine contribution to a political negotiation. The day before, his top economic aide, Brian Deese, appeared on a Sunday television interview program and suggested that at least one concession, involving income eligibility for receiving a stimulus check, would be under consideration.

The 10 senators were exactly the number required, combined with 50 Democrats in the Senate, to give the necessary 60 votes to a legislative package that could overcome a filibuster. But the Democrats have another option for the legislation, enacting it under a special procedure called “budget reconciliation,” which requires only a simple majority and cannot be filibustered. That would enable Vice President Kamala Harris to break any tie and ensure passage.

Under the arcane procedures of the Senate, both the House and Senate must first pass a budget resolution, which is not signed into law by the president but provides a framework for congressional committees to draft spending bills for various federal departments. Both the House and the Senate are expected to pass such a resolution this week—the House version was unveiled on Monday. Budget resolutions, under Senate rules, cannot be filibustered.

Once the budget resolution is adopted, a separate bill to “reconcile” spending totals on specific programs with the overall resolution can pass the Senate again without being subject to a filibuster. This bill, passed once each year, has been utilized by the party controlling the Senate to push through its top priority. In 2017, Senate Republicans used the reconciliation process to enact a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy without any Democratic votes.

Democrats in both the House and the Senate have called for the use of the reconciliation process to pass the COVID-19 relief bill without Republican support, if necessary. Senator Bernie Sanders, who now chairs the Senate Budget Committee, made such a demand in an appearance on the ABC Sunday interview program “This Week.”

It is notable that Sanders demands the use of reconciliation only to pass Biden’s watered down and inadequate COVID-19 relief bill, not to pass legislation that would actually address the massive social needs created by the pandemic and the ongoing economic collapse.

Throughout 2020, during his failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and after, Sanders claimed that it would be possible to put pressure on a Biden administration and move it to the left. Instead, the left-talkers in the Democratic Party have become nothing more than mouthpieces for the pro-business policies of the Biden White House.

This includes, most importantly, Biden’s campaign to reopen the schools and reopen the economy, forcing workers back to work in the midst of the pandemic, despite the danger to their health and lives, in order to keep profits flowing for corporate America.


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Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
1  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre    4 weeks ago

Democratic and Republican Party policies are despised broadly. Biden is deeply concerned that the working class will sweep far past to his left and become unstoppable.

'Unity' and 'bipartisanship' work to conceal the anti-working class properties of Biden's policies, while the GOP aids the deception by denouncing Biden's 'far left' position.

The hope is that these dynamics together will paralyze an increasingly restless working class that is showing signs of awakening and rising to its feet. This would be a solitary horror to both ruling class factions.

Agree/Disagree and why!

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
1.1  Tessylo  replied to  Trotsky's Spectre @1    4 weeks ago

Get out of our way republicans.  You've left us a huge mess, as usual, and you need to let the adults/Democrats clean it up, as usual.  

President Biden is not anti-working class.  That would be the former occupant of the White House.  

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
1.1.1  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Tessylo @1.1    3 weeks ago
'President Biden is not anti-working class.'

President Biden and his Democratic Party represents the petty-bourgeoisie social class. The Republican Party represents the bourgeoisie social class. Those social classes together are the ruling class, and the whole ruling class stands resolutely opposed to the working class. Increasingly, the working class is awakening and uniting in opposition to the whole ruling class.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
1.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Trotsky's Spectre @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

Whatever 

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
1.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  Trotsky's Spectre @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

Nyet

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago
"The US working class must note this and draw the appropriate conclusions."

Around half of Americans don't have the intelligence and/or education to allow for the capability of drawing the appropriate conclusions, as established by the recent election results. 

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
2.1  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    3 weeks ago

As I see it, the way forward is nothing short of the political education of the working class. The proletariat must be won for the socialist program.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
3  Tacos!    4 weeks ago

So then move forward on the stuff everyone actually agrees on. There is probably some room for negotiation to arrive at some kind of middle ground. That's what real bipartisanship and unity looks like. Did Democrats really imagine that absolutely everything they proposed would be automatically lauded?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
3.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Tacos! @3    4 weeks ago

Manchin has promised to do that, saying today  he won't vote for a partisan relief bill.  We will see if he's a man of his word, because it's apparent no other Democrat is interested in any sort of bipartisan compromise. 

 
 
 
Old Hermit
Sophomore Quiet
3.1.1  Old Hermit  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1    4 weeks ago
Manchin has promised to do that, saying today  he won't vote for a partisan relief bill.

Looks like Joe listened to his Governor, the people of West Virginia and the people of this Nation then decided to go ahead and take the action that the Country needs right now.

Forbes - Breaking|Feb 2, 2021,01:41pm EST|

Conservative Democrat Joe Manchin Says He Won’t Hold Up Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Plan. Despite his past reservations about the size and scope of Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal, Senator Joe Machin (D-W.Va.) announced Tuesday that he will vote to move forward with a special budget process that will allow Democrats to pass much of the plan without any Republican votes.
 
 
 
devangelical
Masters Expert
3.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Old Hermit @3.1.1    4 weeks ago

he finally realized it was political suicide to go against what 2/3's of american want.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
3.1.3  Sean Treacy  replied to  Old Hermit @3.1.1    4 weeks ago

All he voted for was to start the process. As he said after the vote “Bret, what I have told everybody, I made it very clear from the President of the United States to all of my colleagues, we’re gonna make this work in a bipartisan way,” Manchin responded. “My friends on the other side are going to have input. And, we are going to do something that we agree on. I’m not going to do it just down the lines, just a party line vote.”

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
3.1.4  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1    3 weeks ago

From the proletarian perspective, any 'compromise' between the parties of Kapital stands to be rejected.

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
3.2  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Tacos! @3    3 weeks ago
'...the stuff everyone actually agrees on.'

As I see it, that 'stuff' has as much existence as pixie dust. When Capitalist parties negotiate, it is on how they will divide the spoils of working class labor.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4  Kathleen    4 weeks ago

I would love to get the $1,400 but it comes with a price. The country will go in more debt, but they do need to do something and get this out to people. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
4.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Kathleen @4    4 weeks ago

The country will go in more debt, but they do need to do something and get this out to people. 

Spending money is okay when it is being properly spent.

Saving this country from the pandemic and resulting economic collapse IS the time to pull out the check book, giving millionaires and billionaires over a trillion dollars of tax breaks IS NOT the time to pull out the check book.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Ozzwald @4.1    4 weeks ago

No matter HOW you look at it. It STILL will put the country in more debt. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

Something the republicans NEVER WORRY ABOUT UNLESS A DEMOCRAT IS PRESIDENT

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
4.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.2    4 weeks ago

Neither do Democrats.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4.1.4  Kathleen  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.3    4 weeks ago

True..... plus that fact that they won’t pass anything unless they put all kinds of their agendas in it. If they are not satisfied, then they hold up the show too. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
4.1.5  Ozzwald  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.4    4 weeks ago
True..... plus that fact that they won’t pass anything unless they put all kinds of their agendas in it. If they are not satisfied, then they hold up the show too.

You did right by not injecting whether you are talking R's or D's, since both do the same thing.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
4.1.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.1    4 weeks ago
It STILL will put the country in more debt.

So we should immediately revoke the millionaire tax cuts to help fund the stimulus.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.7  JohnRussell  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

The national debt is already 27 trillion. Do you really think another 2 trillion is a make or break situation? 

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
4.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.7    4 weeks ago
The national debt is already 27 trillion. Do you really think another 2 trillion is a make or break situation? 

Some Democrats certainly made it seem that way when the Trump tax cuts passed.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.9  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.7    4 weeks ago
"The national debt is already 27 trillion. Do you really think another 2 trillion is a make or break situation?" 

Again, ONLY WHEN A DEMOCRAT IS PRESIDENT

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.10  Tessylo  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.8    4 weeks ago

Which only benefitted the already extremely wealthy/donors to the former occupant of the White House.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
4.1.11  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.10    4 weeks ago
Which only benefitted the already extremely wealthy/donors to the former occupant of the White House.  

I feel bad that you don't understand that part of the tax code.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.12  Tessylo  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.11    4 weeks ago

I don't give a shit what you think or feel or pretend to think or feel 

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4.1.13  Kathleen  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.7    4 weeks ago

Yes.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Guide
4.1.14  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.10    4 weeks ago
"Still, in the final days of a hard-fought campaign, it’s only fair to acknowledge that just about everyone, from rich to poor, got at least something out of the Trump tax cut."

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
4.1.15  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.12    4 weeks ago

ok!

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.16  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @4.1.14    4 weeks ago

Only the wealthy benefit long term.  

What is the 'something' that the middle class and poor get that doesn't expire unlike the uber wealthy???????

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
4.1.17  Ozzwald  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @4.1.14    4 weeks ago
"Still, in the final days of a hard-fought campaign, it’s only fair to acknowledge that just about everyone, from rich to poor, got at least something out of the Trump tax cut."

TrickleDown2-600x300.jpg

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Guide
4.1.18  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.16    4 weeks ago

The only thing that doesn't expire are corporate taxes. Next?

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.19  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @4.1.18    4 weeks ago

Incorrect.  Next?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Guide
4.1.20  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.19    4 weeks ago

Not incorrect. Since you dispute it, post a link or at least copy and paste from one of your sources.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Guide
4.1.21  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @4.1.20    3 weeks ago

"Many tax cut provisions, especially income tax cuts, will expire in 2025, [10]  and starting in 2021 will increase over time; this, by 2027 would affect an estimated 65% of the population and in that same year the law's provisions are set to be fully enacted, [11]  however, corporate tax cuts are permanent"

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.22  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @4.1.21    3 weeks ago

I don't trust wikipedia as a source.  

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
4.1.23  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.1    3 weeks ago
'It STILL will put the country in more debt.'

Tax cuts gifts for the super-wealthy push debt into the heavens. But debt is irrelevant to the ruling class; it will merely shift debt onto the backs of those least able to service it. Those moneys remain naught but a ledger entry until those figures are invested with real value based on the deepened exploitation of the working class. If the working class is robbed in order to pay for it, how is this 'pandemic crisis/relief money?' The whole economy must be expropriated by the class which actually does the work which creates the value.

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
4.1.24  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Ozzwald @4.1    3 weeks ago

Ozzwald:

It is telling that while entirely correct in what it affirms, your post to this point received 23 negative responses. This shows that the working class constituency on this forum is appallingly anemic.

The multi-trillion dollar, horribly misnamed CARES must be rescinded. Those moneys applied to PPE for front-line health care workers, life-saving ventilators, and vaccine development/distribution.

Class dynamics demands that multiplied millions die rather than see the pandemic response to cut into corporate profits. This policy is supported fully by both parties of Kapital. The response which is needed by the hundreds of millions at home and by billions worldwide will not materialize until the whole working class arises and, acting independently of all capitalist parties, demands these changes.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
4.1.25  Kathleen  replied to  Trotsky's Spectre @4.1.23    3 weeks ago

I understand that we need to help with the pandemic. Let’s see down the road what Biden will do and what he spends money on. 

I don’t get a good feeling about it.

BTW, perhaps you are apparently anemic in your accusations. 

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
4.1.26  seeder  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.25    3 weeks ago
'...your accusations.'

I presume you refer to my contention that the ruling classes will see multiplied millions die world-wide before profits are affected.

That is history -- or at least, history in Marxist interpretation. To say naught of numerous regional conflicts and [in the US] the institution of war as permanent policy, we saw In the last century two world wars waged to establish a system of alliances and international relations that would be favorable for the increase of profit. At this point, I'm standing by my words. It's a rigid line, but somebody has to hold it.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
5  Tessylo    4 weeks ago

No.

 
 
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