A year and a half after taking office, US President Joe Biden is within reach of an important success: the US Senate has been discussing a climate and social package worth hundreds of billions of dollars since Saturday, which Biden says will bring “groundbreaking changes for working families”. The Democrat took office with promises of major reforms, but so far these have not materialized.
The deliberations were made possible because the Democrats surprisingly reached an internal party agreement at the end of July. Sen. Joe Manchin, a member of the conservative wing of the party, has given up his opposition to a significantly slimmed down version of last year’s Biden’s ambitious climate and social welfare package.
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The package now available provides around 370 billion dollars (around 363 billion euros) for energy security and climate protection and 64 billion dollars for health care.
Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who blocked the package with Manchin last year, also announced her support for the new law a few days ago. This is extremely important, since the Democrats cannot afford a single dissenter given the razor-thin majority in the Senate.
The vote in the Senate is expected at the beginning of the week. After that, the legislative package goes to the House of Representatives, where the Democrats have a slim majority. A few months before the congressional midterm elections in November, passing the law, even in its slimmed down version, would be a great success for the president and his party.