Senate passes $3.5 trillion Democrat spending plan by single vote

Party-line vote comes just hours after approval of $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill as Democrats embark on historic spending spree. GOP warns of inflation.

Updated: August 11, 2021 - 7:45am

Democrats continued their historic spending spree early Wednesday, as the Senate voted 50-49 to approve a $3.5 trillion plan stocked with liberal priorities just hours after approving a mammoth infrastructure bill.

The party-line vote handed President Biden dual victories and catapulted Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist Democrat who for years was a back-bencher in budget politics, to the forefront of a leftist reshaping of America.

The bill will “restore the faith of the American people in the belief that we can have a government that works for all of us, and not just the few,” he crowed.

But the vote was not without consequence with the 2022 elections on the horizon, Republicans will use a series of amendments to put vulnerable moderate Democrats on the defensive on issues like excessive spending, and the potential dangers to the economy from inflation, tax increases, and future interest rate hikes.

Democrats want to “outsource domestic policy to Chairman Sanders” with a “historically reckless taxing and spending spree,” Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned.

Sen. Mike Rounds of Idaho was the only Republican to miss the vote, as he spent time with his ailing wife. His absence was meaningless, because Democrats had Vice President Kamala Harris waiting in the wings to cast a tie-breaking vote if needed.

Democrats used the legislation to bolster programs they said would assist families, create jobs and fight climate change while imposing higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

House leaders announced the chamber will return from summer recess in two weeks to vote on the plan.