The uphill battle facing the reconciliation bill


President Joe Biden arrives with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the US Capitol to meet with the House Democratic Caucus on the reconciliation package on October 28, 2021. | Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Biden revealed the details of his Build Back Better plan, but not all Democratic policymakers are sure to support it.

Democrats’ budget reconciliation bill was supposed to be an ambitious piece of progressive legislation that would be President Joe Biden’s signature legislative achievement. Democrats hoped to push the bill through while holding narrow 50-50 control of the Senate and a slim majority in the House. But as the bill continues its arduous journey forward, fewer of Democrats’ policy priorities are making the cut.

When President Biden unveiled the latest iteration of his Build Back Better agenda, coming in at $1.75 trillion, he touted funding for universal child care, $555 billion to address the climate crisis, and a surtax for the country’s wealthiest.

It could be transformative for large parts of American society. But some progressives are disappointed because the framework is drastically scaled down from the original $3.5 trillion spending bill, leaving out earlier promises for paid family leave, free community college, and expanded Medicare coverage.

Democrats’ hope is that that these updates will be an agreeable middle ground to get all 50 senators on board, including moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who have been holdouts on the bill so far.

But it’s also possible this framework ends up just “another attempt by Biden to put a stake in the ground while key divisions remain unresolved,” writes Vox staff.

And while senators deliberate on the final version of the plan, the timeline of when the House will vote on it, along with the bipartisan infrastructure bill, is its own issue.

Follow this storystream to stay updated on the reconciliation bill’s progress and Vox’s analysis of how these policies could impact you.