Budget package taking shape as Democrats eye aggressive schedule

Lindsey McPherson, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

“I think desperation, sort of, makes things not work out the best for anybody,” Omar said Friday.

Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., thinks a framework is imminent and votes will come soon after. But he expressed concerns about lack of rank-and-file input in the hurried negotiations and warned that’s complicating efforts to close the deal.

“I think it’s fair to say … you can’t build the ship the day before you want to set sail, culturally,” he said. “You’ve got to engage people at the takeoff if you want to have them there at the landing.”

One Democrat facing a potentially tough reelection fight is Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, who outlined numerous concerns with the current package in a five-page letter to statehouse Democrats that said the measure “is not yet in a place where it would earn my vote.”

Golden’s problems with the initial House bill, first reported by the Bangor Daily News, range from electric vehicle subsidies going to well-off households to new tobacco and e-cigarette taxes hitting the poor. His spokesman said Golden is “actively engaged with the White House” to try to resolve his concerns.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, co-chair of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, said leadership has not conducted the same level of outreach to reluctant House moderates as it has to Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.


“Here in the House, there are members who have already voted ‘no’ and so it’s important those concerns are heard and addressed,” the Florida Democrat said, referring to herself and a handful of other Democrats who voted against pieces of the package in committee markups.

Murphy voted against every Ways and Means Committee subtitle because she felt the process was too rushed and lawmakers didn’t have Congressional Budget Office scores to evaluate the cost of the proposals.

The CBO still hasn’t put out scores of some committee products or the combined package, which is now being renegotiated, and it’s unlikely they’d be able to produce an estimate of whatever bill Democrats can agree to by next week.

“I think it’s really important on a package this size for us to have a CBO score before we take a vote,” Murphy said.


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