The Senate passed a budget resolution in a party-line vote on Wednesday, Aug. 11, which will provide the framework for Democrats to pass their proposed $3.5 trillion spending plan without Republican support later this year.
Senators approved the budget plan in a 50-49 vote without any supportive vote from Republicans.
The spending package, including many priorities of President Joe Biden, would provide universal pre-kindergarten instruction, free community college classes, expanded health care for older Americans, and child care funding. According to VOA, it would fund the fight against the effects of climate change, make immigration law changes and attempt to lower prescription drug prices,
Democrats plan to pay for the programs by increasing taxes on corporations and individuals, allow the government to negotiate pharmaceutical prices, tax imported carbon fuels and strengthen tax collection by the Internal Revenue Service.
The senators moved to the budget blueprint after they voted 69-30 to approve the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which will fund transportation, water, broadband, and other infrastructure projects.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Democrats of “playing Russian roulette” with the United States in response to the budget plan.
“This new reckless taxing and spending spree will fall like a hammer blow on workers and middle-class families. Fewer jobs, lower wages, more inflation, pushing costs higher and higher. What our colleagues are proposing and planning is absolutely jaw-dropping,” McConnell said.
“It will push costs even higher for families. It will shatter President Biden’s promise of no middle-class tax hikes,” the Senate GOP leader added.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Senate Republicans released a joint statement, “Dems are cramming a reckless tax + spending spree through the Senate. So we’re going to hold them accountable. We’ll force votes on common-sense amendments that are widely supported by the American people.”
But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) claimed credit for the passage.
“Senate Democrats just passed our budget resolution to provide historic investments in American jobs, American families, and the fight against climate change,” Schumer tweeted after the vote.
“To my colleagues who are concerned that this does not do enough on climate, for families, and making corporations and the rich pay their fair share: We are moving on to a second track, which will make a generational transformation in these areas,” the Senate Democrat leader added.
Former President Donald Trump slammed the budget resolution as a “communist plan” after Democrats advanced it.
“Good morning, America! While you were all sleeping, the Radical Democrats advanced a plan that will be known as the $3.5 trillion Communist Plan to Destroy America. This legislation is an assault on our Nation, on our communities, and on the American Dream,” Trump said in a statement.
“It destroys our Borders and the rule of law by granting dangerous amnesty that will flood America’s beautiful cities. It will overwhelm our schools, and make our Nation less safe. It raises taxes like we have never seen, while also making many things you buy everyday more expensive (gas, groceries, and much more). And don’t forget the crazy Green New Deal. America, you are being robbed in the dark of night. It’s time to wake up!” he added.
With no Republican support, Democrats are proceeding under a unique process known as a budget reconciliation, which will allow the bill to advance with only a simple majority and not be subject to a potential filibuster, an action minority Republicans could have used to block or delay a vote, according to VOA.
The House, which also has a Democratic majority, will consider the budget legislation when its members return from a recess in two weeks.