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Warner threatens to vote against $3.5 trillion bill over housing assistance for black families

Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) Warns he could vote against the $ 3.5 trillion budget package if more money is not added for housing assistance to close the gap of racial wealth in the current version of the bill in the House, Axios has learned.

Why is this important: Warner’s threat is another indication that the proposal will face a variety of hurdles before the House and Senate can agree on a higher number, how that money is spent on specific programs – and how to pay for it. all of this.

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  • “As currently written, this proposal is insufficient,” Warner said in a statement to Axios about the House’s housing assistance provisions.

  • Warner, a member of the budget committee that helped negotiate the $ 3.5 trillion figure in the Senate, disputes the amount of first-time homebuyers funding in the House, which he says is around $ 600 million. dollars.

  • “I will work in the Senate to make the American dream of homeownership and wealth creation more accessible to historically disadvantaged communities.”

The big picture: House and Senate committees draft specific legislation to collect $ 1.5 trillion in new revenue and spend some $ 3.5 trillion to extend the social safety net, including a variety of new programs ranging from school universal kindergarten to free community college to new funds for housing and rent assistance.

  • The numbers on the front line could change dramatically, with Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) telling CNN’s Dana Bash that the $ 3.5 trillion package “won’t get my vote.”

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Also says the same program that Manchin’s refusal to support the $ 3.5 trillion plan was “absolutely unacceptable to me.”

  • “I don’t think that’s acceptable to the president, to the American people, or to the overwhelming majority of people in the Democratic caucus,” he added.

Between the lines: Warner had negotiated a private deal in the Senate for billions of dollars in down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers and to give them new tools – including a 20-year federal mortgage – to help them build the equity in their home.

Go further: Manchin has privately warned the White House and congressional leaders that he has specific political concerns with President Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion social spending dream – and he will back as little as $ 1,000 billion of it.

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