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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Democrats on the Budget committee announced late Tuesday night that they have reached a deal on a $3.5 trillion package to address "human" infrastructure, which they plan to pass via reconciliation.

Why it matters: The price tag for the proposal — which is expected to include bold provisions on climate change, Medicare and education — comes in far below the $6 trillion figure Budget committee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and other progressive Democrats have pushed for.

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters after the meeting that President Biden will join Senate Democrats at their caucus lunch on Wednesday — his first in-person meeting with lawmakers on the Hill as president — to discuss the package.

Details: Schumer said the budget plan will cover all of the major Biden administration proposals on human infrastructure, including the president's families, climate and housing programs.

  • He added that the plan will also include "a robust expansion of Medicare, including … money for dental, vision and hearing."
  • While negotiators are still finalizing details, the proposal is expected to fully offset with new revenues, among other pay-fors.
  • How to pay for the package remains a key sticking point in passing the bill.

Between the lines: Democrats have their work cut out for them in order to pass this bill.

  • Democratic leaders will need to get all 50 Senate Democrats on board — a huge feat in the current makeup of the party.
  • The timing comes as several key moderate Democrats are simultaneously working on a $1 trillion bipartisan package on "hard" infrastructure.

State of play: Schumer has been clear for weeks that he wants the Senate to consider this package on a "dual track" with the bipartisan proposal — but time is running out if they want to meet their self-imposed deadline of getting this done by August recess.

Flashback: In blow to Bernie, $3.5T likely starting point for Dem-only infrastructure bill

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Stymied by Sinema

Photo: Mandel Ngan/Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders say Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) potential opposition to any corporate or personal tax increase will complicate — and potentially delay — President Biden’s $2 trillion plan to expand the social safety net.

Why it matters: If tax hikes are out, lawmakers have to find new revenue streams to pay for child care and other administration priorities. Sinema may not be opposed to some drug pricing reforms or enhanced IRS enforcement, Axios has learned.

Not enough votes for corporate tax hike, Biden says

President Biden speaks at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Democrats don't have the votes to raise corporate taxes, President Biden admitted at Thursday's CNN town hall in Baltimore, Maryland, where he went into detail on the state of negotiations concerning the massive reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: Democrats are still negotiating what will go into the bill. Divisions within the party have stalled the legislation for weeks.

Republicans scuttle voting rights proposal

Sen. Joe Manchin. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

The Senate failed to advance a new voting rights bill in a 49-51 vote Wednesday, after Republicans successfully filibustered the bill.

Why it matters: The Freedom to Vote Act is the latest attempt by Democrats to counter Republican-led efforts to pass state laws restricting voting access. This marks the third time this year that Republicans have been able to scuttle voting rights legislation, the New York Times noted.