U.S. Rep. Jared Golden sent a letter to Maine Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau on Thursday to share his perspective on the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill being negotiated between Congress and the White House.

Golden, who represents Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, is one of the few members of the Democratic Party not to support the budget proposal. Many Democrats view the proposal as central to President Biden’s agenda.

Golden said he wrote the letter, dated Oct. 21, because he wanted state legislators to understand “where I am coming from when I say that it is not yet in a place where it would earn my vote,” adding that he is actively engaged with the White House and his congressional colleagues to address issues of concern.

Golden said the draft bill “is not sufficiently targeted to working and middle-class families and makes too frequent use of budget gimmicks, like artificial program sunsets or delayed starts.”

He said the budget proposal will have consequences in Maine if passed in its present form.

“First, the bill counterintuitively undermines its aim of rebalancing our tax and spending policies by doubling down on or newly investing in policies that would benefit some of the wealthiest households in America,” Golden states in the letter. “Second, by relying on timing gimmicks to implement policies in the bill, the bill makes working families the targets of yet more congressionally manufactured cliffs, all while obscuring the true costs of program expansions.”

“This is not a responsible way to make policy, and I think we should do better,” Golden added.

In the letter Golden comments on the details of the pros and cons of the budget proposal’s impact on tax credits for working families, child care assistance, energy and climate provisions, taxes on businesses and the wealthy, Medicare expansion and prescription drug reform.

“I wanted to make sure you understood that despite what the national media reports, this is not a debate exclusively centered on top line numbers or based on differing factions within the Democratic caucus,” Golden said. “Out of the limelight, there are serious conversations taking place to determine what is the best policy and how we can pay for it.”

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