(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden sought to assure Americans his $3.5 trillion spending plan won’t trigger inflation, challenging a key Republican objection to his plan.
“If your primary concern right now is the cost of living, you should support this plan, not oppose it,” Biden said Wednesday at the White House.
Biden said his plan would lower drug prices and other costs for average Americans, and quoted economists and others to help make his case.
The Senate advanced Biden’s agenda on Wednesday by passing a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint over unified Republican opposition. It opens the way for the biggest expansion of federal social spending immediately exposed division among Democrats.
Many Republicans have said that a multi-trillion dollar spending bill could exacerbate inflation and undermine the U.S. economy. Labor Department data Wednesday showed the consumer price index in July increased 0.5% from June and 5.4% from a year ago. That’s a less rapid pace than in previous months, but it adds fuel to those concerns.
Translating the budget framework into law will require Biden and Democratic congressional leaders keeping their party’s moderate and progressive wings marching together.
Just hours after passage of the budget blueprint, Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said he couldn’t support a social spending bill with a $3.5 trillion price tag. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, has said the same. One Democratic objection is all it would take to scuttle the package in the Senate.
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