Pelosi Sees Separate Bills for Biden Jobs and Families Plans
(Bloomberg) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expects President Joe Biden’s most ambitious legislation -- his $2.25 trillion jobs proposal and another focused on social spending to support families -- will be packaged into two bills by Congress.
The White House has said that Biden will propose an American Families Plan as soon as this month, in addition to the American Jobs Plan unveiled last week. The second bill will include expanded benefits for child care and some health measures.
Some Democrats have called for both proposals to be wrapped into one giant package, fearing that there won’t be enough time and political capital to pass two multitrillion-dollar bills following the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law in March.
Speaking in a virtual press conference Thursday, Pelosi said the House could pass the first infrastructure-focused bill before Congress’s July 4 recess, with the Senate finishing its work before August.
She said she hopes that plan will be bipartisan, but she isn’t ruling out using the budget reconciliation process as a tool to pass some of the provisions without any Republican support. That’s the same process Democrats used to pass the Covid-19 relief bill.
“We hope to do this in the most bipartisan way possible,” Pelosi said, noting that she instructed committee chairs to work with their Republican counterparts.
The speaker said the $2.25 trillion Biden proposed for the infrastructure-based plan is “probably” about the right level, but the final price tag should reflect the need for investment beyond roads and transit to include housing, broadband, schools and health care.
“You’ve got to think big, you can’t think small when you are talking about the greatness of America,” she said.
The speaker reiterated that legislation to curb the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices -- and applying those prices to the private sector -- would raise about $500 billion in revenue and could help pay for Biden’s jobs plan.
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