Biden pitches $1.75T reconciliation bill framework as 'historic' with progressives still not on board

Biden says, 'No one got everything they wanted, including me'

President Biden on Thursday, in his final pitch before traveling to Europe for the G20 summit, urged Congress to support his revised economic agenda, admitting that "no one got everything they wanted, including me." 

Biden announced his new reconciliation framework Thursday morning, which included an estimated $1,995,000,000,000 pay-fors, including a tax on stock buybacks, efforts by the IRS to stop tax dodgers and more. 


"After months of tough and thoughtful negotiations, I know we have a historic framework," the president said, adding that it will "create millions of jobs, grow the economy, invest in our nation and our people," and address the climate crisis to "compete and win economic competition in the 21st century against China and every other economy in the world." 

The White House estimates that its plan will cost $1.75 trillion, and that its pay-fors would raise $1.995 trillion. There is no bill text to these claims have not actually been evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office or any independent watchdogs. 

President Biden speaks about his domestic agenda from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh / AP Newsroom)

The plan will also include a child tax credit, universal preschool, and a modified Medicaid expansion, among other things. 

Notably not in the plan are universal community college, paid family leave, and other policies--despite the president and administration officials pushing for those items to be included since earlier this year. 

"We spent hours and hours over months and months," the president said. "No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that is what compromise is. Consensus." 

He added: "That's what I ran on – compromise and consensus are the only way to get big things done in a democracy – important things done in this country." 

Among the pay-fors will be a 15% corporate minimum tax ($325 billion) ; a 1% surcharge on corporate stock buybacks ($125 billion); a global minimum tax of 15% and a penalty for foreign companies that are based in countries without a minimum tax ($350 billion); a millionaires and billionaires surtax ($230 billion); closing a Medicare tax loophole ($250 billion); increased IRS enforcement aimed at the wealthy ($400 billion); limiting tax deductions for business losses for wealthy people ($170 billion); and the repeal of the prescription drug rebate rule ($145 billion).

The president, on Thursday, maintained that the framework is "fiscally responsible and fully paid for," arguing, again, that it would "not add to the deficit at all," but instead, would "reduce the deficit." 

"I don’t want to punish anyone’s success – I am a capitalist," Biden said. "I want everyone to be able to, if they want to be a millionaire or billionaire be able to seek their goals, but all I’m asking is, pay your fair share, pay your fair share, pay your fair share, and right now, many of them are paying virtually nothing." 

Biden added that Americans making under $400,000 per year "won't spend a single penny more in federal taxes." 

Biden said that the items included in the framework are "not about the left versus the right, or moderate versus progressive, or anything else that pits Americans against each other." 

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris leave after Biden spoke about his administration's social spending plans, from the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 28, 2021. Biden did not take questions. (Photo by NICHOLAS K (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"This is about competitiveness versus complacency," he said. "This is about leading the world, or letting the world pass us by." 


Biden argued that the framework also makes the "most significant investment to deal with the climate crisis ever, ever." 

"Given half a chance, the American people have never, ever, ever, ever let the country down so let's get this done," Biden said. 

A senior administration official said the president "believes this framework will earn the support of all 50 Democratic senators and pass the House," and will defer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the timing of votes. 

"But he will be full-throated that he believes each of these bills should pass when they come," the official said. "We're not going to speak for any lawmakers from here… But our bottom line is we are confident that this will earn the support of every Democratic senator pass the House."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., arrives for a meeting with House Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik / AP Newsroom)

But Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Thursday morning projected considerably less confidence than the White House in the chances President Biden's reconciliation framework can make it through Congress. 

"I wish I could say yes, but the there's a great deal of uncertainty within the caucus as to what's contained in the deal," Durbin told Fox News when asked if he is confident all 50 Democrats are on board. "I will tell you there is a will to do it. And I think a positive feeling of 48 senators, we've been waiting to satisfy two senators. I hope that we can do that soon."

But House Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are pushing their fellow progressives to not vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill despite pleas from top Democrats, including the president, that they lift their blockade on the bill.

Despite Biden's last-ditch effort to get support for his agenda before traveling to Rome for the G20 later this week, White House officials said his credibility when meeting with international partners would not be weakened, and would not affect the president's ability to deliver.


"I think you've got a sophisticated set of world leaders who understand politics in their own country, and understand American democracy, and recognize that working through a complex, far-reaching negotiation on some of the largest investments in modern memory in the United States, that that takes time," Sullivan told reporters earlier this week. "So, I don't think that world leaders will look at this as a binary issue." 

Sullivan added that, regardless, Biden is "on track to deliver" what he has expressed he hopes to deliver. 

"We believe, one way or the other, he will be on track to do that," Sullivan said. 

The president is set to travel to Rome, Italy Thursday. First on the agenda when he arrives early Friday is a meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican City; followed by a bilateral program with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. 

The president is then expected to meet with French President Emanuel Macron on Friday, before participating in the G20 Leaders' Summit.

Sullivan previewed Biden's role in the G20, saying he will participate in "several sessions covering the main elements of the international economy and international affairs." Sullivan said Biden would also "have the opportunity on the margins to engage with key leaders on a range of issues of importance to the American people, including supply chain, resilience, energy prices, the Iranian nuclear program and more."

Following his participation in the G20, Biden will travel to Glasgow, Scotland, to participate in the World Leader Summit on Nov. 1 and 2, at the start of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Sullivan said the president will give "a major address on climate" as part of that program, and will "have the opportunity" to engage with foreign leaders on his "Build Back Better World" initiative. 

Sullivan said the United States and the European Union, ahead of these summits, are "aligned and united on the major elements of the global agenda." 

Fox News' Tyler Olson, Chad Pergram and Jason Donner contributed to this report.