Democrats retreat on spending after failing to get votes for huge tax hikes

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President Joe Biden and progressive Democrats have failed to get the votes for a proposed major overhaul of the tax code and are now being forced to cut the size and scope of their planned infrastructure and social welfare legislative package as well.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration and congressional Democrats presented an ambitious agenda to claw back the 2017 GOP tax cuts and add new levies designed to help finance a planned $3.5 trillion partisan bill. Since the early summer, though, those plans have been pared back or discarded because of opposition from centrist senators who hold the keys to passing any form of reconciliation package.

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Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have been flexing their outsize power to reduce the tax burden imposed as part of the package. The party can’t afford to lose either senator’s support, given that the Senate is split 50-50 and that Vice President Kamala Harris would act as a tiebreaker on any legislation the GOP opposed as a whole.

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