One of Mr. Biden’s first acts as president was to meet with Democratic congressional leaders to discuss his legislative plans. He told them: “Go big.” Less than a year later, he’s gone small.

The original Build Back Better proposal had a price tag of $3.5 trillion, but more realistic assessments said the sticker shock looked greater than $5 trillion. In early October, Mr. Biden said maybe it could be $2 trillion. Now it’s looking like $1.5 trillion. On Tuesday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus, “This is not going to be fun.”



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