Democrats Announce Budget Proposal to Address Medicare and Climate Change

By Shani Saxon Jul 14, 2021

Democrats on Tuesday (July 13) announced a $3.5 trillion budget proposal that includes funds to address climate change and Medicare expansion, among other priorities, as part of a bipartisan infrastructure agreement, The New York Times reports. 

According to The Times, the measure seeks to “deliver on President Biden’s $4 trillion economic proposal.” The budget plan “would pave the way for a Democrats-only bill that leaders plan to push through Congress using a process known as reconciliation, which shields it from a filibuster.”

“We are very proud of this plan,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, as reported by The Times. “We know we have a long road to go. We’re going to get this done for the sake of making average Americans’ lives a whole lot better.” Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders referred to this package as “a pivotal moment in American history.” 

Although only limited details about the plan were made available on Tuesday, The Times reports that the measure is “expected to include language prohibiting tax increases on small businesses and people making less than $400,000, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the accord, who disclosed details on the condition of anonymity.”

The new budget proposal is particularly aimed at funding the needs of low-income communities of color. Schumer said the new plan would “call for an expansion of Medicare to provide money for dental, vision and hearing benefits.” And according to The Times, “the nearly $600 billion in new spending, combined with funds already approved in Mr. Biden’s pandemic relief law and the pending infrastructure plan, could be transformative, steering government largess toward poor and middle-class families in amounts not seen since the New Deal.”

“Every major program” requested by President Biden would be “funded in a robust way,” Schumer said.