Democrats believed they could reach a deal this week on scaling down the $3.5 trillion dollar spending package, while a new billionaires’ tax draws criticism, Biden’s approval plummets and more top stories in Democratic politics.
President Joe Biden said on Monday that he is hopeful talks with Congress can reach an agreement whittling down the $3.5 trillion spending package that has met resistance within the Democratic Party.
The Associated Press reported that the revisions are tallying at least $1.75 trillion, while CNN reported that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is pushing to keep the price tag no higher than 1.5 trillion, and is expressing concerns over the expansion of Medicare. The Washington Post reported that Manchin believes the broad contours of the spending package can be finalized this week.
Democrats are seeking to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing benefits.
Democrats have introduced an idea for a new billionaires tax in order to help pay for president Joe Biden’s plans to increase social services and invest in battling climate change. While a rate has not been set, it is expected to be at least the 20% capital gains rate.
Some lawmakers are criticizing the idea, preferring Biden’s original plan of raising the top tax rates on the most wealthy and corporations, which would only tax individuals earning over $400,000 a year or $450,000 for couples, the Associated Press reported.
Among the ideas would be to tax the assets of billionaires, while another would require corporations to pay a 15% minimum tax, regardless of if they show any profits.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has proposed taxing those with assets of more than $1 billion, which affects fewer than 1000 Americans, or those who have three consecutive years of income of $100 million to pay taxes on the gains of stocks and other tradable assets, rather than waiting until the holdings are sold.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed a 3% tax on the ultrarich.
The latest Gallup poll has found that President Joe Biden at this stage of his presidency, roughly 9 months, has fallen to the lowest every recent president except for one. Biden’s approval rating at 272 days into his presidency lands at 42%.
Comparing other recent presidents at roughly the same stage: George W. Bush 88%, George H.W. Bush 70%, Jimmy Carter 54%, Ronald Reagan 53%, Barack Obama 52%, Bill Clinton 47%, CNN reported.
The only president who performed worse at this stage was Donald Trump with 37%.