White House seeks to flip debate on agenda price tag

White House officials are trying to cut through the focus on the price tag of President Biden’s economic agenda as they look to persuade moderate senators to get on board.

The administration argues that the Democratic-only reconciliation bill essentially won’t cost anything since the legislation, which could be as high as $3.5 trillion but is in flux, will be offset by tax increases on corporations and wealthy Americans.

Democrats believe the argument will have a dual effect of assuaging concerns from moderates about the size and cost of the package while also beating back the Republican narrative that Biden is overseeing a “tax and spend” agenda. But efforts to win over centrist lawmakers on the cost component have thus far been unsuccessful, despite Biden’s direct intervention.