Why one Ohio lawmaker is at odds over Dems’ $3.5 trillion budget

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Ohio Senator Rob Portman 2021


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An Ohio lawmaker is at odds over Democrat’s $3.5 trillion spending plan for the nation.

Democrats pushed a $3.5 trillion framework for bolstering family services, health, and environment programs through the Senate early Wednesday, advancing President Joe Biden’s expansive vision for reshaping federal priorities just hours after handing him a companion triumph on a hefty infrastructure package.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman voted no on the plan, calling the Dems’ budget a “spending spree that will cost jobs and undermine our economy.”

Many of its proposals would be financed by raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations while sparing people earning under $400,000 annually, an oft-repeated Biden pledge and liberal goal. Though party leaders say the measure will be fully paid for, the budget resolution does not require that. Instead, it gives Congress’ tax-writing committees unspecified license to raise money that a summary calls “substantial.”

Portman compared the spending plan to the $1.9 trillion stimulus package bill enacted by Democrats earlier this year that he said drove inflation higher.

“Democrats are now trying to jam through Congress massive tax hikes and social spending through purely partisan means,” Portman said. “I cannot support partisan legislation that would destroy jobs and harm our economy, and for that reason, I vote no on this reckless tax and spending plan,” Portman said.

The budget outlines the expansion of Medicare coverage to dental, vision and hearing benefits and lowering the program’s eligibility age below its current 65, though the age reduction would be costly and is considered a long shot to survive. The children’s tax credit, expanded during the pandemic to provide millions of families with $300 monthly checks, would be extended beyond its current 2022 expiration. Other tax breaks for some low-earning workers and for child care would also be renewed.

Portman praised bipartisan efforts in the passage of the infrastructure bill and encourages lawmakers to use that as an example of how to come together on the budget.

It is unclear when the House, now on summer recess, will vote on the budget. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., praised it as “a clear declaration of the value that congressional Democrats place on America’s workers and families.”

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