As federal lawmakers continue to debate the future of two of the Biden administration’s leading policy priorities – a $3.5 trillion social spending bill and a $1 trillion infrastructure bill – a temporary agreement was reached last week that extends the time frame on the negotiations and forestalls a potential freefall of the United States’ economy.
On Thursday morning, it was announced that a deal had been struck to extend the nation’s debt ceiling by $480 billion through December 3 – a move that both parties agreed was necessary to avert economic disaster.
While this gives lawmakers more time to negotiate critical pieces of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” platform, the parties reportedly remain a long way off from reaching a deal. In recent weeks, Democratic moderates and progressives have been at odds over the legislation, with moderate Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin, D-WV, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ, both expressing concerns about the cost of the reconciliation bill and raising the possibility that the current spend amount could be reduced.
In the U.S. House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, delayed a vote that was initially scheduled for Sept. 27 on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill, as progressive lawmakers have pledged to vote against it unless the reconciliation bill moves along concurrently. Pelosi has now set a new, end-of-October deadline for approving the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.