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Senate Democrats unveil $3.5T spending plan intended to pass with no GOP support

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Senate Democrats unveil $3.5T spending plan intended to pass with no GOP support
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters last Thursday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.  Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Senate Democrats on Monday released a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint for overhauling laws related to healthcare, climate change and other top priorities -- a resolution they intend to pass soon without any Republican support.

The resolution, which Democrats plan to pass through the budget reconciliation process, also includes progressive efforts like expanding Medicare and offering free community college.

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It does not include expanding the debt ceiling, which is something that became a political weapon used by Republicans during the Obama administration.

The budget allocates $726 billion for universal pre-kindergarten, childcare for working families, tuition-free community college and $107 billion for "lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants."

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The resolution also directs $332 billion to invest in public and affordable housing.

Senate Democrats say the resolution can move toward President Joe Biden's goals of 80% electricity and 50% economy-wide carbon reductions, investing in workforce development and job training programs and providing universal healthcare.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has vowed the fight the measure, although experts say there is little he can do to derail the process. Budget reconciliation allows Democrats to pass the measure with only a simple majority vote.

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"If our colleagues want to ram through yet another reckless tax and spending spree without our input, if they want all this spending and debt to be their signature legacy, they should leap at the chance to own every bit of it," McConnell said, according to NPR.

Democrats have previously used reconciliation to pass legislation this year, including the American Rescue Plan in March.

The resolution sets Sept. 15 as the target date for committees to submit their reconciliation legislation.

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Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said the chamber will take up the spending plan immediately after senators pass a bipartisan infrastructure proposal, which could happen on Tuesday. He added that the action is intended before the Senate goes on its August recess.

To get the spending plan through Congress, Democrats can't lose any votes in the Senate and can afford only a handful of defections in the House.

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