Warning that Americans “are being robbed in the dark” and must “wake up,” former President Donald Trump called the Democrats’ massive budget a “$3.5 trillion Communist Plan to Destroy America.”
The legislation, he said, will “destroy our borders and the rule of law” and “will raise taxes like we’ve never seen.”
The framework for the budget was approved by the Senate early Wednesday morning on party lines, 50-49, after the passage Tuesday of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. The approved resolution directs committees to hammer out a bill that would spend up to $3.5 trillion on progressive initiatives addressing issues such as illegal immigration, child care, education, health care and climate change.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said “the Democratic budget will bring a generational transformation to how our economy works for average Americans.”
The spending bill will go through a budget reconciliation process that will allow Democrats to approve the package with a simple majority, without any Republican votes, in the 50-50 Senate.
House members will return Aug. 23 to debate the bill, and Congress must approve it by Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown.
“Good morning, America! While you were all sleeping, the Radical Democrats advanced a plan that will be known as the $3.5 trillion Communist Plan to Destroy America,” Trump said in his statement, issued through his Save America PAC.
The legislation, he said, is an an attack against “our Nation, on our communities, and on the American Dream.”
The former president noted it would grant amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.
“It destroys our Borders and the rule of law by granting dangerous amnesty that will flood America’s beautiful cities. It will overwhelm our schools, and make our Nation less safe,” he said.
“And don’t forget the crazy Green New Deal. America, you are being robbed in the dark of night. It’s time to wake up!”
On Tuesday, Trump directed criticism at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for allowing passage of the $1.2 trillion “non-infrastructure bill” on Tuesday, which was supported by 19 Republican senators.
“He has given up all of his leverage for the big whopper of a bill that will follow,” Trump said in a statement. “I have quietly said for years that Mitch McConnell is the most overrated man in politics — now I don’t have to be quiet anymore. He is working so hard to give Biden a victory, now they’ll go for the big one, including the biggest tax increases in the history of our Country.”
At least one Democratic senator has “serious concerns” about the $3.5 trillion budget bill.
Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday that adding “trillions of dollars more to nearly $29 trillion of national debt, without any consideration of the negative effects on our children and grandchildren, is one of those decisions that has become far too easy in Washington,.”
McConnell called the budget framework a “new reckless taxing and spending spree will fall like a hammer blow on workers and middle-class families.”
“Fewer jobs, lower wages, more inflation, pushing costs higher and higher. What our colleagues are proposing and planning is absolutely jaw-dropping,” McConnell said on Twitter.
“It will push costs even higher for families. It will shatter President Biden’s promise of no middle-class tax hikes.”
‘It is a stark choice’
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that the $3.5 trillion bill would actually cost $5.4 trillion over a decade and that Democratic lawmakers intend to use “arbitrary policy sunsets” or “budget gimmicks” to hide the the legislation’s true cost.
Stuart Varney of the Fox Business Network, a native of England, echoed Trump’s concerns.
“You want America to look and feel like socialist Europe? Then vote for the $3.5 trillion tax and spend plan,” he said on his morning show, “Varney & Co..” “You want America to stay unique and capitalist, then kill the $3.5 trillion spending plan.
“It is a stark choice,” he said. “But that is the choice we face.”
— Varney & Co. (@Varneyco) August 11, 2021
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, will oversee the budget reconciliation process.
He said Democrats must bypass Republicans to help working people.
“The $3.5 trillion [reconciliation bill] … will be the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s,” Sanders said. “And yes, we will pass this budget with 51 votes, not 60, by passing it under the rules of reconciliation.”
Schumer’s office, the Washington Times reported, released a summary of the $3.5 trillion package, which includes:
- Free tuition at all community colleges.
- Money to create a civilian climate corps to put young Americans to work on green energy-related projects. Participants would be paid $15 an hour or more for weatherizing buildings, fighting forest fires and capping oil wells.
- An expansion of Obamacare and guaranteed paid family and medical leave to employees.
- A taxpayer-backed clean electricity standard that will give incentives to utilities to jettison coal and natural gas in favor of solar and wind power.
- Universal pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-old children.
- Long-term care for seniors and the disabled. It also includes an expansion of Medicare benefits to cover hearing, dental and vision services.
- Money for homeowners to retrofit their properties to be in line with new climate change regulations.
- Investments in electric vehicles as well as money to transition the federal government away from using gas-powered cars.
- Repealing the $10,000 cap for the state and local tax deduction.
The package also provides a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
“We will bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of a deadly pandemic,” Sanders said.
The Times noted it’s unclear how that provision would fit the Senate’s rules for what can be included in budget reconciliation.
Democrats wants to repeal former President Donald Trump’s signature tax cuts to pay for the new spending.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said his panel is considering proposals to raise corporate and international taxes, and hike income taxes for high-income earners.
Democrats also want to increase the power of the IRS to crack down on tax scofflaws and institute a “carbon polluter import fee.”