The push for more government spending from the progressive wing of the Democratic party represents a fissure from moderates that are wielding an increasing amount of influence in the split Senate and narrow House majority.
Democrats can afford to lose just three votes in the House and several moderate members are “sceptical” about the tax-and-spend plan Biden proposes to pay for his infrastructure spending, according to Axios.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says the president’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure announcement was “not nearly enough” and is well below the $10 trillion needed to create jobs for union workers, while also solving health care, housing and carbon emissions.
The New York congresswoman appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to express “serious concerns” that Joe Biden was underspending on the future of America by $7.75 trillion to realize his “inspiring vision”
“We’re talking about, realistically, $10 trillion over 10 years. And I know that may be an eye-popping figure for some people, but we need to understand that we are in a devastating economic moment,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said.
“Millions of people in the United States are unemployed. We have a truly crippled health care system and a planetary crisis on our hands, and we’re the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. So we can do $10 trillion.”
Leader of the House Democrats’ moderate faction, New Jersey’s Josh Gottheimer, told said he worries tax increases could slow economic recovery.
“We need to be careful not to do anything that’s too big or too much in the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis,” he told the outlet.
“It’s got to be responsible and both parties need to be at the table. This can’t just be jammed through without input and consideration from the other side.”
In the Senate, where just one defection would derail the plan, Joe Manchin of West Virginia has suggested he wouldn’t back certain tax hikes.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, however, maintains that the bill should “absolutely” be increased before going to the Senate.
“That $2.2 trillion over eight years, I have serious concerns that it’s not enough to realize the very inspiring vision that Biden has advanced,” she said.
“We are in a devastating economic moment, millions of people in the United States are unemployed, we have a truly crippled health care system, and a planetary crisis on our hands, and we’re the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. So we can do 10 trillion, that is a thing of political imagination,” she added.