said Thursday that significant planks of his administration’s agenda — including a proposal for tuition-free community college, a hike in corporate tax rates, and free dental coverage for senior citizens — lack the support of all 50 Democratic senators and can’t pass Congress. Appearing at a CNN town hall in Baltimore, Biden also said a proposal for paid family and medical leave is shrinking from 12 weeks to four weeks. But he also suggested that adding vision and hearing coverage for seniors was still under consideration and opposed adding a work requirement to a critical anti-poverty tool. “Look, in the Senate, when you have 50 Democrats, everyone is president,” Biden said.
But Biden was optimistic about reaching a deal, perhaps before he leaves for a global, Scotland, next week. He said Democrats had “four or five issues” to negotiate. The administration hopes to have at least the broad outline of a deal on the legislation — which includes critical parts of Biden’s plan to fight — before the president lands in Glasgow. Speaking with CNN host Anderson Cooper, Biden confirmed many reports of Democrats’ decision to leave out of the package amid demands from Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin. (D-W.Va.) to shrink the from roughly $3.5 trillion over the next decade to around $2 trillion.
could make its way into law soon, noting that his wife — first lady Jill Biden, a longtime community college professor — is a significant supporter of the idea. “I guarantee you we’re going to get free in the next several years,” he said. “I’m going to get it done. And if I don’t, I’ll sleep alone for a long time.” Biden specifically signaled Manchin’s opposition to including dental coverage — a significant priority of Vermont Sen. — as the reason it was dropped. He said he is still negotiating with Manchin and Sinema to include hearing and vision coverage in the plan.
Meanwhile, he blamed Sinema for opposing hikes to corporate tax don’t think we are going to be able to get the vote,” he said. He later praised Sinema as “smart” but added: “She says she won’t raise a single penny in taxes on the corporate side and wealthy people.” He also said the plan to offer 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents and people battling an illness or caring for a loved one would be whittled down to just four weeks.to just 20% in their 2017 tax law. (Sinema voted against that cut.) “I
Democrats, including Sinema, are instead looking at other changes to the tax code that don’t include raising the corporate tax rate or the tax rate on wealthy individuals. Biden did adopt a progressive stance on one key intra-party topic of debate. He told Cooper he opposes adding a work requirement to the child tax credit — something Manchin has pushed for, claiming he wants to ward off an “entitlement society.” But Manchin may be backing down from that demand. He declined to answer questions about the work requirement from a HuffPostthis week. Arthur Delaney contributed reporting.