Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) Warns he could vote against the $ 3.5 trillion budget package unless more money is added for housing aid to fill the racial wealth gap in the current version of the bill, Axios learned.
Why it matters: Warner’s threat is yet another indication that the proposal will face a variety of obstacles before the House and Senate can agree on a top-line number on how that money will be spent on certain programs – and how everything will be paid for .
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“As currently written, this proposal is not sufficient,” Warner said in a statement to Axios on the House of Representatives’ provisions on housing allowance.
Warner, a member of the Budgets Committee who helped negotiate the $ 3.5 trillion Senate, denies the House of Representatives funding level, which he believes is around $ 600 million.
“I will be working in the Senate to make the American dream of home ownership and wealth creation more accessible to historically disadvantaged communities.”
The big picture: House and Senate committees are creating specific laws to generate $ 1.5 trillion in new revenue and spend about $ 3.5 trillion on building the social safety net, including a variety of new programs from universal preschool through the free community college to new funds for housing and rent grants.
The top line numbers could change dramatically, with Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) tells CNN’s Dana Bash that the $ 3.5 trillion package “won’t have my vote”.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told the same program that Manchin’s refusal to support the $ 3.5 trillion plan was “absolutely unacceptable to me”.
“I don’t think it’s acceptable to the president, the American people, or the overwhelming majority of the people in the Democratic Group,” he added.
Between the lines: Warner had negotiated a private agreement in the Senate for billions of dollars in down payment assistance for first-time home buyers and given them new tools – including a 20-year federal mortgage – to help them build equity in their home.
Go deeper: Manchin warned privately the White House and the leaders of Congress that he has specific political concerns about President Biden’s dream of $ 3.5 trillion in welfare spending – and he will only support $ 1 trillion of that.
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