Democrats aim to reset national legislative agenda after Biden speech

US President Joe Biden announces new measures requiring the government to buy more American-made products during remarks in the South Court auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, US, on March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

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WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) – Congressional Democrats will try this week to start salvaging unfinished parts of U.S. President Joe Biden’s national agenda and respond to voter demands to fight inflation while bolstering high-income jobs technology to compete with China.

Biden, in his State of the Union address last week, outlined a more moderate course after a year of spending about $3 trillion to tame the COVID-19 pandemic and invest in improving health conditions. infrastructure.

It’s up to the president and his fellow Democrats in Congress to figure out how to unite the party’s warring progressive and centrist wings on a narrower round of domestic investments now that his $1.75 billion “Build Back Better” initiative is in ruins.

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The sweeping move would have reshaped American society, helping families with child and elder care costs, subsidizing early education, and many other initiatives, such as renewing a tax credit Expanded Children’s Playground for low-income families.

Biden has provided some pretty strong clues about where he would now like to see Congress move in the months leading up to the Nov. 8 election that will determine whether his party retains control of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Priorities include reducing the high cost of prescription drugs such as insulin, fighting climate change through tax incentives to make homes and businesses more energy efficient while weaning Americans off gas-guzzling cars. increasingly expensive gasoline and raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for these initiatives.

In a speech to the Senate on Thursday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, took the lead from Biden in calling for “cutting costs while building on wage and job growth” from the government. past year.

Senate Republicans, however, could block some of these initiatives, challenging Democrats to use a special procedure known as “reconciliation” to pass legislation without their support.

Democrats will try to chart the way forward at their annual retreats this week. Biden is expected to make his case to senators during a retreat in Washington on Wednesday and Friday in a final session of a three-day meeting of House Democrats in Philadelphia.

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Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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