Senate Democrats unveiled a budget resolution Monday that maps $3.5 trillion in spending boosts and tax breaks aimed at strengthening social and environmental programs, setting up an autumn battle over President Joe Biden’s domestic policy ambitions.
The measure lays the groundwork for legislation later this year that over a decade would pour mountains of federal resources into their top priorities. Included would be more money for health care, education, family services and environmental programs and tax breaks for families, with much of it paid for with tax increases on the rich and corporations.
The measure’s introduction marks the start of a long legislative trek through Congress of legislation that Democrats hope will result this fall in a progressive reshaping of government. To succeed, they’ll have to overcome likely unanimous Republican opposition and find the sweet spot between the demands of their own often antagonist progressive and moderate factions.
“At its core, this legislation is about restoring the middle class in the 21st Century and giving more Americans the opportunity to get there,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a letter to his colleagues that outlined the plan.
The resolution calls for creating free pre-Kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds and two years of free community college; extending tax breaks for children and some low-income workers; and establishing paid family and sick leave.