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Oct. 21, 2021, 7:55 p.m. EDT

Democrats scramble to rework Biden’s $2 trillion spending plan

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By Associated Press

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Other tax options are also being considered, and Democrats are almost certain to include a provision to beef up the Internal Revenue Service to go after tax dodgers.

Another key Democrat, conservative Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has said he prefers a 25% corporate rate, but his resistance to the bill lies chiefly in other areas such as climate change and social services.

Overall, the emerging package, while slimmer than the original, would represent the most substantial overhaul of the federal balance sheets in at least a generation.

Biden and his party are trying to shore up middle-class households, tackle climate change and stem the trend toward rising income inequality.

In the mix are at least $500 billion to battle climate change, $350 billion for child care subsidies and free prekindergarten, a new federal program for at least four weeks of paid family leave, a one-year extension of the $300 monthly child tax credit put in place during the COVID-19 crisis, and money for health care provided through the Affordable Care Act and Medicare.

Likely to be eliminated or shaved back are plans for tuition-free community college, a path to permanent legal status for certain immigrants in the United States and a  clean energy plan  that was the centerpiece of Biden’s strategy for fighting climate change.

Democrats are growing anxious they have spent much of the year on the package and have had difficulty explaining what’s in it, made up of so many different pieces.

The president especially wants to advance it by the time he departs next week for a global climate summit in Scotland.

Manchin has made clear  he opposes the president’s initial energy plan,  which was to have the government impose penalties on electric utilities that fail to meet clean energy benchmarks and provide financial rewards to those that do.

Instead, Biden is focused on providing at least $500 billion in tax credits, grants and loans for energy producers that reach emission-reduction goals.

In other areas, Pelosi appeared on board with Biden’s plan to extend the $300 monthly child tax credit for another year, rather than allow it to expire in December, but that’s not as long as Democrats wanted.

What had been envisioned as a months-long federal paid family leave program could be shrunk to as few as four weeks — an effort to at least start the program rather than eliminate it.

Biden also wants to ensure funding for health care programs and add a new one  to provide dental, vision and hearing aid benefits to people on Medicare  proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

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