Democrats should accept cuts to infrastructure spending

The ten-year plan's best chance for success will require sacrifices



September 21, 2021 - 10:00 AM

U.S. President Joe Biden is flanked by a bipartisan group of senators after meeting on an infrastructure deal. From left are Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

The battle over Democrats’ ambitious spending plan is heating up in Congress, but one piece of the outcome is already clear: The $3.5 trillion price tag is being whittled down.

That will disappoint progressives, who see the budget plan as their best chance in a generation to enact big changes in domestic policy from universal pre-K and free community college to expanded Medicare and Medicaid and subsidies for clean energy.

But as a practical political matter, it’s a good thing for Democratic members of Congress who face tough races in 2022 — and for their party’s tenuous chances of retaining its razor-thin majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives.

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