Kelsey Snell

Senate Democrats have unveiled a plan to tax the gains billionaires make on the assets they own as a way to help pay for President Biden's social spending plan.

Democrats say the billionaire tax alone could raise hundreds of billions of dollars to help offset the cost of the final bill, which could end up around $1.5 trillion. It is part of a broader tax framework that also includes a new minimum tax on large corporations.

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Updated October 7, 2021 at 8:36 PM ET

The Senate has passed a bill to increase the federal debt ceiling, after weeks of tense cross-aisle negotiations regarding the looming threat of the country defaulting on its debt.

The legislation was approved Thursday night along party lines, with a simple majority. An earlier procedural vote required Republicans to get to 60 votes. It got 61. House approval is still needed.

Updated October 6, 2021 at 6:25 PM ET

Senate leaders are working to finalize a deal to avoid the immediate threat of federal default by punting a political battle to December.

Democrats say they are willing to accept an offer from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for a short-term lift of the debt limit. But they say they remain unwilling to accept a related demand to use McConnell's preferred procedure to pass a longer suspension of the borrowing cap.

Updated September 30, 2021 at 7:33 PM ET

President Biden has signed a short-term funding bill, avoiding a partial government shutdown that would have begun at midnight.

The Senate and House sprinted Thursday afternoon to pass the legislation, which will keep the government funded through Dec. 3.

The bill also includes $28.6 billion for communities hit by natural disasters over the past 18 months and $6.3 billion to help support resettlement for Afghan refugees.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

This is a very high-stakes week for Joe Biden's presidency. Democrats in Congress have a deadline to avoid a government shutdown, and they need to agree among themselves to pass Biden's domestic agenda. Here's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on ABC's "This Week."

Updated September 27, 2021 at 2:10 PM ET

Top congressional Democrats worked through the weekend to untangle a snarl of competing demands from members of their own party on fiscal issues while continuing to battle Republicans over the nation's debt.

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The White House and congressional Democrats have reached an agreement on a framework to pay for a final spending package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Thursday.

But that's where the details stopped. Pelosi and Schumer didn't offer any specifics on the framework or the amount of revenue they seek to get to pay for the measure.

Democrats in Washington are working against a rapidly approaching deadline to end a standoff with Republicans that could force a partial government shutdown and a panic over the nation's credit rating.

"We're calm and everybody's good and our work's almost done," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said as she returned from a meeting with the president at the White House. "We're in good shape."

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This story is part of "The Basics" from The NPR Politics Podcast, where we regularly explain a key idea behind the news we talk about on our show. Subscribe to The NPR Politics Podcast here.

Updated August 24, 2021 at 5:27 PM ET

The House of Representatives narrowly approved a budget resolution that provides the framework for a $3.5 trillion spending deal following an impasse between House leaders and centrist Democrats that threatened to derail progress on the vast majority of President Biden's domestic agenda.

Tuesday's vote was 220-212 along party lines.

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Updated August 10, 2021 at 3:52 PM ET

The Senate voted 69-30 Tuesday to approve a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, a historic piece of legislation that could reshape American lives for decades.

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The Senate is poised to pass a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill today that Democrats say is just the start. They plan to move quickly from what is a bipartisan victory to an entirely partisan spending plan.

Updated August 9, 2021 at 9:28 AM ET

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has released the text of a $3.5 trillion budget framework that is meant to give Democrats the opportunity to approve major federal investments in child care, family leave and climate change provisions without support of congressional Republicans.

In a letter sent Monday morning, Schumer told Democrats that the goal is for committees to write legislation to fulfill the spending targets by Sept. 15.

A roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill cleared a critical hurdle in the Senate on Saturday, paving the way for final Senate consideration and a looming showdown involving progressive Democrats in the House.

The vote was 67-27. It is unclear when a final vote would occur.

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Democrats who hoped that narrow control in Washington, D.C., would lead to a rush of votes to approve new progressive policies are facing a major roadblock — moderates in their own party.

Moderate Senate Democrats from Republican-leaning states and swing states are flexing the power that comes along with a 50-50 Senate, where every vote has the potential to make or break a bill.

Updated June 10, 2021 at 7:53 PM ET

A bipartisan group of 10 U.S. senators says they agree on a "framework" for a deal on an infrastructure package, but the members did not release any details and top leaders from both parties have been mostly silent on the development.

According to two sources familiar with the negotiations, the agreement is focused on "core, physical infrastructure." The proposal would cost $1.2 trillion over eight years and include $579 billion in new spending.

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Updated June 4, 2021 at 5:59 PM ET

The White House says a new offer on an infrastructure package from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia is insufficient as the search for middle ground between President Biden and Republicans remains elusive.

Biden and Capito spoke on the phone Friday, the latest in a series of talks between the two. Capito is leading the group of GOP senators working with the White House on a potential agreement, and is tasked by her leaders to head the negotiations.

President Biden and Senate Republicans have agreed to continue negotiations on an infrastructure spending plan despite an ongoing split over the scope of the proposal and how to pay for it.

Biden hosted Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., the GOP's lead negotiator on infrastructure, at the White House on Wednesday, and the pair agreed to reconvene Friday as the window for a bipartisan deal appears to be narrowing.

The Biden administration aims to have an agreement this summer, and some fellow Democrats are urging the president to wrap up bipartisan talks.

Updated May 27, 2021 at 12:12 PM ET

A group of Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a $928 billion infrastructure proposal to counter President Biden's plan for a nearly $2 trillion bill.

Congressional Democrats are further expanding the definition of infrastructure with a plan to provide paid leave and family benefits for the vast majority of Americans.

Updated April 22, 2021 at 2:05 PM ET

Senate Republicans have released a $568 billion infrastructure proposal to counter the more than $2 trillion package unveiled by President Biden early this month.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., are introducing legislation Wednesday that would make higher education free for most Americans by imposing new taxes on many Wall Street transactions.

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