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Senate Democrats reach $3.5 trillion budget agreement that backs up Biden's goals

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Posted at 11:33 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 12:33:52-04

Senate Democrats say they’ve reached a budget agreement envisioning spending an enormous $3.5 trillion over the coming decade.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the Democrats’ deal after a meeting with the Budget Committee on Tuesday.

"We are very proud of this plan. We know we have a long road to go but we are going to get this done for the sake of making average Americans' lives a whole lot better," said Schumer.

The deal would pave the way for their drive to pour federal resources into climate change, health care and family-service programs sought by President Joe Biden. Included in the deal is money to expand Medicare coverage for vision, hearing and dental benefits.

The accord marks a major step in the party’s push to meet Biden’s goal of bolstering an economy that was ravaged by the pandemic and setting it on course for long-term growth.

But Democrats face possible objections from rival moderate and progressive factions.

And they'll have to work hard to convert their plans into legislation they can push through the closely divided Congress.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says Biden will attend the Senate Democratic Caucus lunch on Wednesday to make the case for his “dual track approach to build the economy back better by investing in infrastructure, protecting our climate, and supporting the next generation of workers and families.”

Psaki is holding a press briefing at about 12:30 p.m. ET and will likely discuss the budget agreement.

On a separate track, Biden is promoting his infrastructure proposals Wednesday afternoon at a bipartisan gathering of governors and mayors at the White House.

The $3.5 trillion proposal is separate from the bipartisan bill addressing roads and bridges that more moderate senators have been negotiating for weeks.