Biden pushes for support in $3.5 trillion budget deal

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden returned to Capitol Hill Wednesday to push forward Democrats’ new $3.5 trillion American Jobs and Family Plan.

The president spent roughly 40 minutes with lawmakers in a closed-door meeting. He’ll need every Senate Democrat on board to pass the historic deal.

“We’re going to get this done,” Biden said.

The plan invests billions to extend the child tax credit, expand paid family leave and make community college and preschool free.

“We are very proud of this plan,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “We want middle class people to be able to stay in the middle class and breathe easier in the middle class.”

The big question remains: How will Democrats fund the massive plan?

Without a clear answer, moderates in the party say the bill must be paid for to guarantee their support.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., says she’s confident the bill will be fully funded.

“I think the meeting went well,” Duckworth said. “There was a lot of support in that room.”

The plan includes a tax hike on corporations and wealthy Americans.

“It will make (it) more fair,” Duckworth said. “Families that make less than $400,000, family farms and small businesses are protected from any tax increase.”

But Republicans are sounding the alarm.

“$5 trillion a time we’re already seeing spiking inflation, working people cannot pay for the food — it’s outrageous,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said.

Hawley says the massive spending could sink a bipartisan deal on traditional infrastructure.

“Certainly, I’m not going to go along with spending $5 trillion,” Hawley said.

Democrats say they understand the road ahead will be difficult but want a deal passed by September.

Democrats admit the road ahead will be difficult but say they are committed to getting a bill through.

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