WH urges Putin to ‘build back better’ instead of invading Ukraine

Hours after the Biden administration admitted that its own Build Back Better plan would not be passed by Congress this year, it urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to “build back better” in his own country rather than threatening to aggression against Ukraine.

A senior Biden administration official even told reporters on a State Department conference call Friday that polls in Russia showed support for policies President Biden had struggled to cross the line. ‘arrival in the United States.

“The Russian people do not need a war with Ukraine. They don’t need their sons to come home in body bags. They don’t need another overseas adventure, ”the official said.

“What they need is better health care, better rebuilding, roads, schools, economic opportunities. And that’s what the polls in Russia show. We therefore hope that President Putin will seize this diplomatic opportunity and also listen to the needs of his own people. “

There are reports that President Biden’s Build Back Better project will not pass Congress this year.
AP / Evan Vucci

The Russian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Policy recommendations for Moscow follow White House admission Friday morning that Biden’s $ 2 trillion social and environmental spending bill will not pass until the holidays due to centrist Senator Joe’s qualms. Manchin (D-WV). Manchin said he feared the legislation’s effect on inflation, which peaked in 39 years in November.

“The president wants to see this development – I think you saw it in his statement – early next year,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One.

Senator Joe Manchin has expressed concern that the bill will worsen inflation, which peaked in 39 years last month.
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

In a statement Thursday night, Biden said Manchin “reiterated his support for funding Build Back Better at the master plan level that I announced in September. I believe we will bridge our differences and move the Build Back Better plan forward, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition. “

Biden rolled out a “framework” in September that would cost $ 1.75 trillion, offset by $ 1.995 trillion in new revenue from new taxes and increased IRS enforcement.

The House passed the package last month with a price tag of $ 2.2 trillion, but if it passes the Senate it is expected to shrink in size due to resistance from Manchin and his centrist colleague Senator Kyrsten Sinema ( D-Arizona).

Manchin says he’s concerned that the “gimmicks” have reduced the actual cost of the package, as the costs are spread over fewer years than the revenue streams.

The Congressional Budget Office said last week that the Build Back Better law would cost an estimated $ 4.5 trillion – and add $ 3 trillion to the federal deficit – if its programs were extended for 10 years, or the same period as the suggested income streams.

Biden’s spending program is said to be one of the largest in U.S. history and Tories say it would bring the United States closer to Western European welfare state policies. Without the support of the Republicans, the Democrats are trying to pass the bill using special budget reconciliation rules, but they cannot lose a single vote in the equally divided Senate.

Biden and Putin meet in Geneva, Switzerland, in June.
Biden and Putin meet in Geneva, Switzerland, in June.
AP / Alexander Zemlianichenko

The version passed by the House includes $ 555 billion for environmental programs and would establish federal funding for all states to provide preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and cap child care costs at 7% of the cost. income for most families. It would also extend an improved child tax credit for families earning up to $ 150,000 – from $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 per child, or $ 3,600 for those under six.

Additional funds in the package would be used to subsidize home health care, build new housing for low-income people, and expand health insurance to include the cost of hearing aids.

The bill would increase the “SALT cap” from $ 10,000 to $ 80,000 on state and local taxes that can be deducted from federal taxes – for the benefit of people living in high-tax areas like New York and New Jersey. – and would subsidize by the federal government four weeks of paid work in the private sector. family leave.

Meanwhile, the Russian government issued an ultimatum on Friday demanding that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other countries in the former Soviet Union and cancel alliance military deployments in central Europe. and eastern. The Kremlin has also called for a ban on sending US and Russian warships and planes to areas from which they can strike each other, as well as a halt to NATO military exercises near Russia. Applications risk being rejected.

With post wires

Christi C. Elwood