U.S. lawmakers to focus on $3.5 trillion spending bill this week

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The U.S. Senate is back in Washington Monday from its summer break. Lawmakers have a lengthy to-do list with several high-stake deadlines.

“As everyone knows, the Senate has a very busy schedule ahead of it,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Schumer said the top priority is getting President Biden’s two-part spending package across the finish line, which includes the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure package and Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill.

“With this legislation, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our economy and rekindle faith in America’s future,” Schumer explained.

Democrats need the support of all 50 senators in their party to pass the bill, but West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said on NBC’s Meet the Press the price tag is too high.

“We should be looking at everything, and we’re not. And we don’t have the need to rush into this,” Manchin said.

Manchin said he would support a much lower $1.5 trillion deal.

“It’s more than the amount of money they are spending, it’s also the way they are spending it,” said Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall.

The current spending plan would expand health care and child care, provide free pre-school and community college and fund solutions for climate change.

Marshall said if Democrats want to pass it, they’ll have to go at it alone.

“They’ll have to get this done as part of their reconciliation budget or not at all,” Marshall said.

“Republicans are going to fight these terrible painful policies tooth and nail,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Democrats hope to finalize their bill by Wednesday.

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