Democrats Weigh $3.5 Trillion Agenda—and How Much Should Be Paid For

WASHINGTON—Democrats seeking to pass their $3.5 trillion healthcare, education and climate legislation are wrestling over the amount they should pay with tax increases and other policy changes—and what should be funded with deficit spending.

In their initial rollout, Democratic leaders said the plan would be fully offset with higher taxes on companies and wealthy households along with spending reductions, such as letting Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices. But as they confront detailed choices, senior lawmakers have begun suggesting that the intraparty consensus on taxes might not provide enough money. That scenario could prompt them to increase federal borrowing or pare back spending ambitions.

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