Many progressives are willing to accept a smaller economic bill.

Many progressives are now backing a new social and environment bill. It's not as bold or big as they want, but thanks to a powerful group of moderate party members who have had a significant say in shaping it.

Many progressives are willing to accept a smaller economic bill.

In August, Democrats overcame all Republican opposition and passed a $3.5 trillion 10-year fiscal plan of the plan through Congress. The actual package, which reflects President Joe Biden’s hopes for strengthening health care, family service, and climate change efforts, is likely to be half as large. Some of the most prized programs, such as free community college or fines for utilities that use carbon-spewing fuels, are being canceled.

The fraught math of a divided Congress, in which Democrats need all their votes at the 50-50 Senate but near unanimity in Congress, is what gives Moderates their clout. This has made centrist senators. Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Krysten Silena of Arizona are power brokers who their colleagues fear will vote no if they aren't satisfied. This would blow up Biden’s agenda and hurt the party's prospects for next year's midterm election.

Progressives are reluctantly considering whether it is time to be pragmatic and back a compromise, instead of waiting for party leaders to make a deal and move the legislation within days.

Another benefit of an agreement is that it would allow for final House approval of a bipartisan, Senate-approved $1 billion package of road, water, and broadband projects. Progressives have been sidetracked in order to force moderates to support the larger economic bill.

Progressive Sen. Mazie Haino (D-Hawaii) said that he doesn't like the deal because of the large influence moderates had on compressing it and erasing certain provisions. These are all the things we have been fighting for. She said, "For decades." However, Democratic unity is necessary and the party should use the bill as a way to "open the doors" to its priorities. Later, it can expand and extend them.

"At the end we have to accomplish something. We have to deal with reality in which it's living," said liberal Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Rules Committee, and an ally to House leaders, about his party's slim congressional margins. "So, the question is: Would we rather not get anything or would we prefer to at least make a down payment for some of the transformative programs that we desire?"

A few moderates in the Senate and House are not expressing concerns about the Social and Environment Bill, which has prompted strong feelings from colleagues.

"At some point you have to recognize that legislating requires respecting the rest of your people you're collaborating with," Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), a progressive and chairman the House Budget Committee said about Sinema and Manchin. "And when you force a 50% cut in an essentially huge program, I think that you've done something disservice to all of the people you serve with."

Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), a freshman representative, said, "I'm pissed," and singled out Manchin. "It's unacceptable that one person can hold all the power and make decisions that will destroy my district and other districts across the country.

Manchin has tried to limit the bill's benefits for those with lower incomes. Manchin has also demanded a $1.5 trillion overall price tag, but Tuesday he said that he didn't know where it would end up. With West Virginia being heavily dependent on coal, Manchin forced Democrats to drop language penalizing utilities for not moving away from polluting fuels, and rewarding those who do. This was a key pillar of their climate plan.

Sinema insists on reducing the bill's costs. Sinema also opposes the Democrats' original plan to finance a large portion of the bill by increasing income tax rates for the wealthy and corporations. This prompted them to look at other options, such as imposing new levies upon billionaires' wealth. However, she stated that she supports a minimum tax for large corporations.

Although progressives are touting the benefits of the measure, they're far from done. Late efforts are being made to rescue or strengthen teetering plans like expanded Medicare and Medicaid coverage, paid family leave, and Medicare negotiating lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

"The vast majority are in," stated Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "But, there are still a few areas where this is not the case. We'll keep pushing as hard as possible.

Climate change, housing, Medicare expansion, and helping immigrants become citizens are the priorities of the 95-member group. Democrats have had difficulty including immigration provisions. Also, efforts to add new hearing, vision and dental benefits to Medicare were unsuccessful.

Progressive outside groups are urging people to continue fighting for a stronger plan.

Leah Greenberg is the executive director of Indivisible. She said Manchin, Sinema and other activists are "enabling an agenda which's out of step" with the Democratic Party. Ellen Sciales, spokesperson of the Sunrise Movement, stated that watering down provisions on climate change would be "a death sentence to our generation."

Top congressional Democrats, including Biden, are pressing to end the party's infighting. Some even use similar catchwords, as if they were reading the same script.

"We are at the brink of something significant. According to a source familiar with the meeting, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was "transformative, historic, and larger than anything else."

Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), another member of House leadership, stated that the measure's components were "transformative and historic".

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