The White House will not estimate the cost of infrastructure, nor reconciliation bills

White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not give the estimated amount of combined spending on two of President Joe Biden’s priority infrastructure bills on Monday.

“The president will continue to defend the elements of his Build Back Better program, the US plan for families, the elements he presented in his budget and the elements of his US jobs plan that were not included in the plan. the bipartisan package, “Psaki told reporters on Monday. briefing when asked how many expenses the administration was looking for.

It is estimated that $ 6 trillion to $ 7 trillion in total spending could result from a $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill being finalized, and as much as $ 6 trillion that Democrats could pass Congress without Republican votes with a separate “budget reconciliation” bill.

The smaller bill, which got a bipartisan deal last month, would be paid in part by unused COVID relief funds as well as money already distributed to state and local governments through Biden’s US bailout. which was adopted earlier this year.

While the smaller bill has some Republican support, enough to get it through, the larger bill, which includes several Biden priorities removed from the smaller package, would likely die in the Senate without the GOP’s 10 votes. necessary to break an obstruction.

Democrats can get around this inevitability, however, by using the budget reconciliation process so that a simple majority vote can pass the bill despite Republican opposition.

Democratic Congressional leaders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt ., said the two measures should move forward together in the process.

“In April, when the president said we were going to move on two tracks – that we would seek a bipartisan infrastructure deal and work with Democrats on a budget reconciliation process that included key elements of the US plan for families – there was some skepticism that this could go ahead and that’s a diplomatic definition of the general reaction, ”Psaki said on Monday.

Schumer has said he wants the bills to go to a vote this month.

Psaki said meetings between all parties involved in the bills were continuing and that President Biden would be “engaged” in those discussions.

She said the White House expects “ups and downs” as things move forward and that it is both “prepared and ready for” any problems that may arise.

It is not clear, however, whether Republicans who accepted the smaller bill would withdraw their support if the larger bill was brought to Congress by the Democrats.

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