Eight months after Democrats began to release their “Better Deal” agenda, they are on the cusp of passing some of it into law — by tucking it into this week’s must-pass spending bill.
“This budget agreement shows that the Better Deal agenda is more than a set of ideas; now, it’s going to be real policies,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a statement. “It delivers on exactly what we laid out last year: rural broadband, child care and assistance with college tuition.”
In negotiations, Democrats checked off several items in the Better Deal, a compendium of policies backed by Democrats in the past and brainstormed in meetings last spring and summer. The new items include $5.8 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant program; $20 billion in infrastructure spending, including rural broadband funds, with no corresponding cuts; and a special joint committee on fulfilling pension obligations, with the results to be voted on by the end of the year.
Passing those items as part of a spending package will let the White House — eager to advertise new spending on infrastructure and rural voters — take some of the credit. Democrats believe some of the credit will redound to the 10 Democrats facing reelection this year in states won by President Trump in 2016.
“It shows that Democrats are willing to work with anyone in a Republican-controlled Washington to deliver for the middle class,” Schumer said.