Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) said Wednesday a number of the group’s priorities for Black Americans are in President Joe Biden’s spending bill.
Democrats are scrambling to come to an agreement on the bill. Beatty told reporters the caucus visited the White House to speak with Biden and his senior advisors about the negotiations Tuesday.
Beatty told reporters that the bill includes much of what Black Americans will be fighting including funding for housing, HBCUs, childcare, and extended child tax credit and more.
“We’re going to save thousands of lives for children and Black children. We’re going to get a child tax credit. We’re going to have child care. We’re going to get more money into HBCUs than we’ve had in the history of this Congress,” said Beatty. “Whether it is $1.7 or $2 trillion, that is a significant amount of investments in our community.”
Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) told NBC News the caucus has been working to expand Obamacare coverage and make the enhanced Obamacare marketplace permanent. She also added they are also working to get dental coverage for seniors.
According to CNN, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons said West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told him the updated framework of the Build Back Better bill is something they can support.
“I’ve heard from both senators, Manchin and (Kyrsten) Sinema, that they believe this is a framework that they can work with, that this is a basis for us moving forward,” Coons told CNN.
The two senators have been a thorn in Biden’s side during his first term as they’ve blocked Climate goals in the bill. Manchin represents West Virginia, which is heavily dependent on coal and fossil fuels. Additionally, both had issues with the $3.5 trillion cost of the original bill and the increase in taxes on the wealthy to pay for it.
Beatty is still optimistic Democrats will come to an agreement on the bill.
“We’re not there yet,” she told reporters. “But shortly we will be there, and we will see many of our priorities there. We will see many of the investments that we have been fighting for and working for and leading at the top of that list.”