Democrat says cost determines his vote on bill


WASHINGTON – A key moderate Democrat has said he expects President Joe Biden’s agenda to be fully paid off, but he still wants to see the official Congressional scorer data before he takes the vote.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer said he’s optimistic lawmakers will have the Congressional Budget Office’s cost analysis of the Build Back Better Act available when Congress meets the week of November 15. The wait for the data blocked progress on Biden’s agenda in the House where Gottheimer, along with several other centrists, said they wanted to be assured that the bill would be fully cleared before the vote.

“We need this information to move forward and act responsibly,” the New Jersey Democrat said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. He said he expects the data to “match” the White House’s estimates on the cost of the bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday nodded to Gottheimer and other moderates and delayed voting on the bill until data from the Congressional Budget Office was released, a move that angered progressives , who say they don’t trust the moderates to ultimately vote for social spending and tax legislation.

Gottheimer and four other Democrats released a statement pledging to vote for the bill if analysis shows it to be deficit neutral. Outside estimates, however, indicate Democrats could run out of around $ 300 billion.

The Penn Wharton Budget Model last week released estimates that the legislation would increase spending by $ 1.87 trillion over the 10-year budget window while increasing revenues by just $ 1.56 trillion.

House Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal, who drafted the part of the bill that includes raising taxes and other offsets, says he believes official estimates will show more measures of income than expenses.

“I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t call it extra money, but we might have a little more around the edges,” Neal said on Friday.

Biden will visit the port of Baltimore on Wednesday and tout the newly adopted infrastructure package and its effects on ports and supply chains, his administration said on Sunday.

The measure will modernize the country’s ports and strengthen supply chains “to avoid disruption,” read a press release announcing the visit to Baltimore.

The Biden administration will review energy price data to be released on Tuesday as it assesses measures to stem high gasoline prices, including the exploitation of the Strategic Oil Reserve, said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.


The US Energy Information Administration’s monthly survey is the latest marker of Biden’s efforts to counter high crude prices and a snub of his demand from major producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, to increase production. faster.

“The president is on all of this,” Granholm said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “I think we’ll take a look at the forecast that comes out on Tuesday.”

Gasoline prices at the pump in the United States hit their highest level since 2014 last week, signaling growing political risk for Biden amid accelerating consumer prices and fueled bottlenecks partly through the economic recovery. OPEC and its allies last week rejected Biden’s demand for a significant increase in production and stuck to a plan to gradually increase monthly production to 400,000 barrels per day.

The near-term energy outlook, released monthly by the Department of Energy’s independent EIA, is being watched closely by traders and policymakers. It provides consumption, supply and trade forecasts and other information on oil and other energy markets.

The latest survey, dated Oct. 13, forecasts a gradual decline in U.S. retail gasoline prices through the end of next year, including a drop to an average of $ 3.05 per gallon from ordinary quality in December.

The Strategic Oil Reserve, a stock of more than 600 million barrels of crude kept underground in Louisiana and Texas for major emergencies, is large enough to replace all the oil the United States imports from OPEC Plus during more than a year. Speculation that Biden could deploy it pushed oil prices down last week.

Granholm reiterated that the reserve is one of the tools at Biden’s disposal “and he’s certainly thinking about it.”

A day after OPEC Plus ignored Biden’s call to step up the pace of increased production after last year’s covid cuts, Saudi Arabia raised its official crude prices for all buyers. “OPEC unfortunately controls the agenda when it comes to oil prices,” Granholm told CNN.

Biden said on Saturday he “didn’t expect OPEC to respond” to his request for help.

“They are going to pump some more oil,” he told reporters at the White House. “Whether they are pumping out enough oil is a different thing.”

At the Group of 20 summit last month, a US official said the administration was discussing with other energy-consuming countries how to pressure OPEC Plus to increase production. Biden told his fellow G-20 leaders that energy markets must be well supplied to avoid undermining the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Information for this article was provided by Laura Davison of Bloomberg News and Jeff Barker and Christine Condon of the Baltimore Sun.


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