Senate Democrats outline $3.5 trillion investment in social programs, climate measures

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Senate Democrats released their $3.5 trillion budget blueprint Monday that would make major federal investments in child care, family leave and climate change measures.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, plans to move forward without Republican support as soon as the separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill advances.

“We have managed to steer two trains at the same time,” Schumer said. “We’re gonna give American families a fair shot.”

The larger legislation would invest federal dollars in human infrastructure, like universal pre-K, child care and tuition-free community college. It would also expand Medicare benefits, create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and address climate change.

“We plan to pay for this package by making the wealthy pay their fair share,” Schumer said.

Democrats are using the budget reconciliation process for this plan, which will require unanimous agreement within the party because Republicans are already united in their opposition.

“It’s very, very bad policy,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA. “Very, very damaging to the economy.”

Toomey and his GOP colleagues, like Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-TN, argue Americans cannot afford this on top of the infrastructure bill and the COVID-19 relief Congress passed during the pandemic.

“We’re talking $6 trillion dollars in a year’s time at a point where the economy is already overheating,” Hagerty said.

Hagerty has been the leading Republican voice to slow down the legislation.

“What they’ve been trying to do is accelerate the process so that Chuck Schumer and the Democrats can light a fuse on a $3.5 trillion socialist debt bomb,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to stop that.”

However, Schumer vows to vote on the budget blueprint before allowing the Senate to leave for August recess.

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