By Andrew Trunsky
Daily Caller News Foundation
Congressional committees began meeting Tuesday to formally draft Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget, moving ahead with the sweeping bill that contains much of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda even as its passage remains anything but certain.
The bill as contrived could affect Americans at nearly every stage of their lives, from provisions adopting free or affordable child care to Medicare expansions. But the package, which also includes two years of higher education for most students, expanded child tax credits for young families and expansive climate change mitigation measures, faces multiple obstacles — including some set by Democrats themselves.
First and foremost is the makeup of Congress itself. Republicans unanimously oppose the bill, labeling it as nothing more than socialism, and Democrats have just three votes to spare in the House and none in the Senate, leaving them almost no room for error.
That makes objections from moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema all the more powerful. Even though the package can skirt a Senate filibuster under a process called budget reconciliation, 48 votes would leave the budget two shy of the simple majority needed to reach Biden’s desk.
“I urge my colleagues to seriously consider this reality as this budget process unfolds in the coming weeks and months,” Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said after the House advanced the budget framework in August.