How Will the Democrats Pay For Their Spending Bill?

How Will the Democrats Pay For Their Spending Bill?

The tax code will have to change, but for whom?


The Democrats in Congress are seeking to advance their $3.5 trillion spending package, which is a version of President Biden’s proposed American Families Plan. The Senate, per CNBC, passed the first framework for the reconciliation bill on August 11.

“The Democratic budget will bring a generational transformation to how our economy works for average Americans,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said after the passage of the framework earlier this month.


The final proposal does not yet have a finished legislative test, although Democrats have released frameworks listing the major highlights.

According to NPR, certain amounts of money have been allocated to different Senate committees, including $726 billion for the Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee, $107 billion for the Judiciary Committee, $135 billion for the Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, $332 billion for the Banking Committee, and $198 billion for the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Also not certain is how exactly the package would be paid for, although Business Insider recently looked at that question. One possibility is to raise the corporate tax rate, with Biden proposing to increase it from the current twenty-one percent to twenty-eight percent, while more moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia are said to favor a rate closer to twenty-five percent. It has also been proposed to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Some have also proposed changing the way U.S.-based terms are taxed based on where they earn profits. Three senators, Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have introduced a framework to do just that.

“While working families have struggled to get ahead, companies that saw their taxes cut in half are doing better than ever before, and paying less in taxes than any time since World War II,” Wyden said in a statement. "To right the ship, we're ending incentives to ship jobs overseas and closing loopholes that allow companies to stash their profits in tax havens.”

NBC News quoted an American Enterprise Institute follow as stating that “The international provisions, at most, will raise around $800 billion.”

This would, per Insider, be enough to “finance two $1,400 stimulus checks similar to the ones most Americans received in the $1.9 trillion Biden stimulus law during the pandemic.”

However, additional stimulus checks are not part of the proposal for the reconciliation package, nor are they part of the bipartisan infrastructure framework that was passed by the Senate earlier this month.

There does not appear to be much political will for an additional round of checks, as the Biden Administration has not pushed the idea, nor does it appear to have enough support in Congress for such checks to pass.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters