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Deal-making in D.C. among Democrats

President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan is undergoing some contractions this week. The $3.5 trillion spending bill is down to about $2 trillion.

Biden met with groups of Democratic senators on Tuesday, hoping to sell them on a reduced plan that will still carry some of his top priority items. It was a tough sell, we’re sure for the progressive senators he met with first, who think we should be spending even more than $3.5 trillion.

Biden wants to salvage some remnant of his climate change plan. To do that he will have to mollify Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who will only vote for a fuel-neutral plan, one that doesn’t punish industries for use of coal and natural gas, two important commodities of his state.

Biden would like an agreement on his trimmed down plan by the end of the week. Likely to be included are $500 billion package of tax credits for energy producers that reach emission-reduction goals; extension of a $300 monthly child tax credit, funding for community-based health care programs; paid family leave and free pre-kindergarten.

Gone are plans for free community college for all. Many of the other programs included will be slimmed down versions.

This is a lot of work to get a major piece of legislation approved by one’s own party.

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