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Democrats' $3.5T spending plan to get a trim

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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.

Here’s the Democrats’ problem: Most of the individual spending proposals in the plan are broadly popular among voters, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into solid support for the whole package.

A USA Today/Suffolk University poll last month found that the spending plan was supported by a bare majority, 52%, of Americans — and that was before Republicans began barraging the proposal with objections, aimed mostly at the price. (A “massive, reckless taxing and spending spree,”........

© Olean Times Herald

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